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Coal scam case: SC rejects Naveen Jindal’s plea for permission to challenge trial court’s order in HC

LiveMint logoLiveMint 13-07-2017 Priyanka Mittal

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the plea of industrialist and former Congress parliamentarian Naveen Jindal, who sought permission to challenge the trial court’s order relating to irregularities in coal block allocation in the high court.

Charges were framed by the trial court against Naveen Jindal and others for irregularities in the allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal block in Jharkhand to Jindal Group of companies on 29 April.

A bench headed by justice Madan B. Lokur held that the accused in the coal scam case could not go to the high court to get charges quashed.

It was added that only the apex court would entertain pleas of the coal scam accused, challenging any lower court order during pendency of trial.

On 29 April, Naveen Jindal, former minister of state for coal Dasari Narayan Rao and 13 others were formally charged with corruption, criminal misconduct, cheating and criminal conspiracy in connection with suspected irregularities in the allocation of a coal block.

Special judge Bharat Parashar had framed the charges against Jindal, Rao and the others in connection with the allocation of the Amarkonda Murgadangal block in Jharkhand to Jindal Group companies, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt. Ltd (GSIPL) during the term of the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

The block is one of more than 200 whose allocation was cancelled by the Supreme Court in September 2014 on grounds that the allotment process was arbitrary and illegal. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) said in a 2012 report that coal block allocations had resulted in a notional loss of Rs1.86 trillion to the exchequer

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