Court asks Maharashtra chief secretary to present sanction records

New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) A special court hearing a coal block allocation case allegedly involving Nagpur-based Grace Industries Ltd (GIL) and others has directed Maharashtra chief secretary to present documents related to refusal of the state government to grant sanction to to prosecute a public servant in the matter.

Special Judge Bharat Parashar directed the chief secretary to produce original records relating to the issue.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) informed court that it has received a communication from the state government that though Vishwas Sawakhande, earlier director, geology and mining, has retired on May 31 but the state has refused to accord sanction to prosecute him.

The probe agency submitted that in these circumstances it is necessary to ascertain as to whether the government of Maharashtra refused the request to consider according of sanction to prosecute the accused after his retirement from government service or prior to it.

“In view of the submissions made, I find force in the submission of senior public prosecutor and accordingly direct that summons be issued to chief secretary, government of Maharashtra, who may depute some concerned officer along with the relevant original record to be produced before this court,” the court said on Monday and fixed the matter for further hearing on August 10.

The court earlier directed the CBI to place records of the case before the competent authority so that they could grant sanction to prosecute former coal ministry’s joint secretary K.S. Kropha and Sawakhande for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI has told court that Sawakhande has attained the age of superannuation on May 31 from his post and but it would obtain a final report from the Maharashtra government as to the fate of request sent by them.

As regard to Kropha, it has been submitted that no communication has been received till now from the competent authority as to the request for sanction to prosecute him.A

The CBI also said that all the records of the case were sent to the competent authority on February 11 this year and since then more than five months have elapsed and thus this court should consider the sanction as deemed to have been granted.

The court had directed the CBI to conduct further probe into the alleged collusion between public servants and company officials in a case related to the allocation of coal block in which the CBI had charge sheeted GIL and one of its directors Mukesh Gupta.

 

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