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Most unwanted job: Government finds it difficult to find a special public prosecutor to try coal scam

Friday, 25 July 2014 - 6:15am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

There is no taker for the job of special public prosecutor to try the illegal coal block allocation cases involving Jindal Steel, Aditya Birla group and others.

Miffed by the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government for spoiling his chances to become a Supreme Court judge, senior advocate Gopal Subramanium had already refused to accept the assignment.

The second choice was Dayan Krishnan. He, too, declined to take up the job, citing professional commitments.

The name of Krishnan, who, as special prosecutor, had handled the December 16, 2012, cases in a trial court as well as in the Delhi high court, securing conviction and capital punishment for the accused, was suggested by petitioner-counsel Prashant Bhushan.

Bhushan had reportedly suggested a third name for the job. The CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), however, didn't agree on the name of Arvind Nigam, because he is not a criminal lawyer, sources said.

Now, the ball is in the NDA government's court to inform the Supreme court tomorrow about the appointment of the special prosecutor.

When contacted, Bhushan said" "Let us see tomorrow in the court whose name the Central government will suggest."

So far, CBI has initiated its preliminary probe into more than 200 cases of illegal allocation of coal blocks.

It has segregated the entire cases into five PEs (preliminary enquiries), out of which the agency has so far registered 22 RCs (four closure report and 2 charge sheets) against the companies and unknown government officials for their roles in the illegal allocation.

Tata Steel, JLD Yavatmal Energy, JAS Infrastructure & Power, AMR Iron & Steel are the other companies against which there are complaints.

Congress MP Vijay Darda and his brother Rajendra Darda, the education minister of Maharashtra, have been accused of direct and active involvement in the affairs of later three companies.

P C Parekh, who was coal secretary at the time of this allocation, faces charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act as also criminal conspiracy and other offences.

While hearing a PIL on July 18, the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha had directed the Delhi High Court to nominate a special additional special sessions judge for the cases pertaining to coal block allocation.
It had also asked Bhushan and the counsel for CBI and Centre to give the names after taking consent of the lawyer for the appointment of SPP.

"We want a person of impeccable integrity and fine legal mind," the bench had made it clear to the lawyers while suggesting the names and obtain the lawyer's consent for the job.

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