SC allows withdrawal of plea filed by NRI accused in imported coal scam case

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SC allows withdrawal of plea filed by NRI accused in imported coal scam case

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday allowed withdrawal of a plea filed by an NRI accused in a money laundering case linked to an alleged imported coal scam.

The counsel appearing on accused Ahmed AR Buhari’s behalf requested a Vacation Bench presided over by Justice Abhay S Oka for withdrawal of the Special Leave Petition with the liberty to approach the appropriate forum with application seeking bail.

Acceding to the request, the Bench, also comprising Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah, disposed of the plea as withdrawn keeping all the questions of law open.

In its March 8 order, the Madras High Court said that Buhari had kept on filing petitions and thereafter, claiming that a petition is pending, protracted the trial and invited delay in investigation on himself.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) initiated the money laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), against Buhari, the promoter of Coastal Energy Pvt. Ltd, Chennai, and other unknown officials of PSUs under various Sections of the IPC, and Section 13(2) read with Section 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The probe revealed that Buhari was controlling the Coastal Energy Private Limited, Coastal Energen Private Limited, Coal and Oil Group Dubai and other offshore entities located in Mauritius and the British Virgin Islands.

The PSUs were supplied coal of lower calorific value instead of the higher specification for which the tenders were floated and executed by the CEPL or MMTC and the coal was supplied by CEPL either directly or through MMTC on the strength of overvalued invoice for lower quality supported with fraudulent Certificate of Sampling and Analysis (COSA) whereas the original COSA depicting the genuine quality of coal was suppressed.

In the course of investigation, it was further revealed that Buhari generated proceeds of crime (POC) to the tune of Rs 564.48 crore from the over valuation of coal.


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