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Supreme Court order on coal block allocations may increase burden on accused in trial: Experts

Monday, 25 August 2014 - 8:32pm IST | Place: undefined | Agency: PTI

The Supreme Court verdict holding as illegal all coal block allocations since 1993 must have brought anxious moment for the high and mighty accused in the scam as some legal experts are of view that today's outcome may have increased the burden on them to prove their innocence.

However, there are others who feel that the trial court will move forward without any prejudice and proceedings would take its own course without being influenced by the findings of the apex court which has in general dealt only with the policy adopted in allocation.

Expressing his views on the apex court's verdict, former Law Minister and senior advocate Shanti Bhushan said, "The proper step would be to cancel all the lease granted with prospective effect so that they cannot take out any coal." He, however, said the apex court's verdict would not have much bearing on the ongoing trial in the case before the lower court.

"Since the coal matters being heard by session court are criminal in nature, hence, the Supreme Court's decision would not have much impact on the ongoing trial," Bhushan said while commenting on the ramifications of the today's verdict.

Former Delhi High Court Judge, Justice (retd) SN Dhingra was of the opinion that although the apex court's verdict was based on the facts placed before it, the trial court is legally bound by these observations as it has to look into the same sets of facts.

"Supreme Court's decision is based on facts and these will be considered by the trial court. Trial court is bound by the apex court's decision," he said.

Senior advocate Amit Sibal, who said he has not yet gone through the verdict passed by the apex court, also opined that it will be a binding for the lower court. "The judgement will bind lower court but we must wait for the trial. I cannot comment much as I have yet not read the verdict in detail," he said.

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