CBI Court Exempts Santosh Bagrodia And Ls Jatin From Charges In A Coal Scam

A Special Judge (PC act) of CBI court at Rouse Avenue complex, New Delhi discharged former Minister of State for coal Santosh Bagrodia and L S Janoti in a criminal case relating to allocation of coal, while holding the other five accused as guilty. Charges under section 120 B (Criminal conspiracy), 409 (Criminal breach of trust), 420 (Cheating) of Indian Penal Code and section 9, 13(1) and 13(1) d of the Prevention of Corruption Act were framed against Vijay Darda, ex Member of Parliament and Chairman of Lokmat group and HC Gupta Ex Coal secretary and AMR Ltd.

The Supreme Court discharged the charges against Minister of State for Santosh Bagrodia and LS Janoti by holding as follows:

“Thus as no other role apart from the aforesaid proceedings has been assigned either to accused LS Janoti, Section Officer, MOC or to accused Santosh Bagrodia, Minister of State for Coal so I hereby discharge them for the offence of criminal misconduct i.e. u/s 13(i) (d) P.C. Act 1988 and also for the offence of criminal conspiracy i.e. u/s 120-B IPC as no such charge is made out against them. They both thus stand discharged in the present case”, observed the Special Judge.

Senior advocate N Hariharan, appearing for Bagrodia held that Bagrodia cannot be held accountable as he was a political appointee and cannot be expected to have knowledge of the matters. The officers of the ministers would give inputs to the Minister of State for Coal and he acts upon the same. The advocate held that Bagrodia was just acting upon the information so passed.

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