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A special court would next month deliver its order on charge against former MP Vijay Darda and five others, including his son Devendra Darda and former Coal Secretary H C Gupta, in a coal scam case relating to alleged irregularities in the allocation of a coal block in Chhattisgarh.
Special Judge O P Saini, who was scheduled to pronounce the order today on whether the accused should be put on trial, deferred the matter for November 10. The court, meanwhile, allowed co-accused and businessman Manoj Kumar Jayaswal to visit Prague in Czech Republic from November 5 to 10 for business purposes.
The court had on August 20 last year granted bail to the accused, also including two senior public servants K S Kropha and K C Samria, and Jayaswal who had appeared before the court in pursuance to summons.
The court had issued summons against them for alleged offences under section 120B (criminal conspiracy) read with 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 420 (cheating) of IPC and under relevant provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.
It had on November 20 last year refused to accept CBI's closure report in the case and directed it to conduct further probe the matter, stating that the Rajya Sabha MP had "misrepresented" facts in letters written to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was holding the Coal portfolio.
The court had said that Darda, the Chairman of Lokmat Group, had done so to get the Fatehpur (East) coal block in Chhattisgarh allotted to JLD Yavatmal Energy Pvt Ltd. It had said that "prima facie" offence of cheating was committed by private parties in "furtherance of conspiracy" hatched between them and the public servants.
CBI had earlier alleged in its FIR that JLD Yavatmal had wrongfully concealed previous allocation of four coal blocks to its group companies in 1999-2005, but later filed a closure report saying no undue benefit was given to JLD Yavatmal by the Coal Ministry in allocation of coal blocks to it.
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