Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar has directed all the accused to remain present before court on the date of judgement in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to Kolkata-based Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL).
Besides Mr Koda, Mr Gupta and the firm, the other accused in the case include former Jharkhand Chief Secretary A K Basu, two public servants - Basant Kumar Bhattacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh, VISUL's Director Vaibhav Tulsyan, Mr Koda's alleged close aide Vijay Joshi and chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan.
The eight accused persons were earlier granted bail by the court after they had appeared before it in pursuance to the summons issued against them.
They were summoned as accused after the court took cognisance of alleged offences; criminal conspiracy read with cheating and criminal breach of trust by public servants.
It said although the Jharkhand government and Steel Ministry did not recommend VISUL's case for coal block allocation, the 36th Screening Committee recommended the block to the accused firm.
The CBI said that Mr Gupta, who was chairman of the screening committee, had allegedly concealed facts from then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who then headed the Coal Ministry too, that Jharkhand had not recommended VISUL for allocation of a coal block.
Mr Koda, Mr Basu and two accused public servants conspired to favour VISUL in the coal block allocation, the agency added. The accused have refuted the allegations levelled against them.
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