Coal block case: Court allows CBI plea to delete witness name

New Delhi:A Delhi court Tuesday allowed a plea of the CBI seeking deletion of the name of chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan as a prosecution witness in a coal block allocation case.

Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Judge Bharat Parashar passed the order after the probe agency pleaded that since the court Jan 20 had summoned Tulsyan as an accused, his name was required to be deleted from the list of prosecution witnesses filed earlier.

Tulsyan was summoned as an accused along with former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda and others.

The court also directed the CBI to file before it a fresh amended list of witnesses and ensure that it is supplied to all the accused on the next date of hearing when they have been summoned. The court posted the matter for Feb 18.

“In view of the submissions made and the facts and circumstances of the case, the name of accused Navin Kumar Tulsyan is ordered to be deleted from the list of witnesses.

“Fresh amended list of witnesses be filed and be supplied to the accused people on the next date of hearing,” the court said.

Earlier, the court had summoned Koda, ex-coal secretary Harish Chandra Gupta and six people and a company in a coal block allocation case involving Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd.

The other people summoned were former Jharkhand chief secretary Ashok Kumar Basu, Vini Iron and Steel director Vaibhav Tulsyan, chartered accountant Tulsyan, two government officials – Basant Kumar Bhatacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh – and alleged middleman Vijay Joshi along with Kolkata-based Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd. (VISUL).

The CBI filed the chargesheet in December last year in the case against Koda and the others on various charges like cheating and criminal conspiracy, and under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The case involves allocation of coal blocks to Vini Iron and Steel in Jharkhand’s Rajhara town, in which its directors and unknown public servants of the coal ministry, the Jharkhand government and others were named as accused in the first information report lodged in September 2012.

It said the company was not recommended by either the union steel ministry or the Jharkhand government.

However, the then Jharkhand chief secretary, who had attended the 36th screening committee meeting July 3, 2008, had signed its minutes recommending the allocation to the firm.

The CBI alleged that the company had fraudulently claimed an inflated net worth and its ownership too had changed hands ahead of the 36th screening committee meeting.