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Coal block case: Court frames charges against RSPL

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  20 May 2015 12:00 AM GMT

New Delhi, May 19 : A special court here on Tuesday framed charges in the coal block allocation case against Delhi-based Rathi Steel and Power Ltd. (RSPL) and others. Special Judge Bharat Parashar framed charges of cheating against RSPL and its CEO Udit Rathi.

The court also framed charges of crimil conspiracy against Udit Rathi, RSPL and its maging director Pradeep Rathi and assistant general mager Kushal Aggarwal. After the accused pleaded not guilty and asked for a trial, the court fixed June 2 for further hearing.

“It is prima-facie clear that facts of the present case present a picture where grave suspicion arises against the accused persons that they all prima-facie conspired together to cheat the Screening Committee and thereby ministry of coal (MoC) by furnishing wrong information so as to procure allotment of a coal block,” the court said in its order.

Thus, as regarding accused Udit Rathi, it is prima-facie clear that by signing the feedback form containing false information, he deceived and induced the Screening Committee and, thereby, MoC authorities to allocate “Kesla North Coal” Block to RSPL, the court observed.

“...I may also mention that a perusal of the “Memorandum of Association” and “Article of Association” of RSPL which was earlier med as Rathi Udyog Ltd. clearly shows that the company RSPL is in fact a closely held family company. Initially Rathi Udyog Ltd. was a private limited company promoted purely by Rathi family members as is evident from the “Memorandum of Association” of the company,” the court said.

“However, later on, though it became a public limited listed cmpany, the record of the company shows that even then it continued to be primarily controlled by Rathi family members.” The court noted that Pradeep Rathi, the maging director of the company, and his son Udit Rathi, chief executive officer, were present at the time of making presentation before the Screening Committee alongwith their another authorised officer Kushal Aggarwal.

The court said that thus prima-facie it is clear that accused Pradeep Rathi continued to remain actively involved in the entire matter of allocation of coal block alongwith the officers earlier authorised by the Board of Directors of the Company. “In view of my aforesaid discussion, I am of the considered opinion that the facts and circumstances of the present case raises grave suspicion against all the four accused persons mely company RSPL, Udit Rathi, Pradeep Rathi and Kushal Aggarwal warranting framing of charge against them for the offence under section 120-B (crimil conspiracy) read with section 420 (cheating) IPC and also charge for the substantive offence i.e. under section 420 of the Indian Pel Code against accused Udit Rathi and RSPL,” the court said.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has chargesheeted the company, its CEO and two officials for illegal allocation of “Kesla North Coal Block to RSPL in Chhattisgarh”. The CBI registered an FIR against the company and its CEO on June 19, 2013. (IANS)

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