Delhi court acquits two accused in coal scam case

A Delhi court on Tuesday acquitted two accused, including an entity with links to a US company, in a case related to alleged irregularities in allocation of a coal block in Chhattisgarh, saying the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

Special Judge Arun Bhardwaj granted the relief to AES Chhattisgarh Energy Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of AES Corp. Delaware (United States), and the subsidiary company’s director, Sanjay Aggarwal, in the case involving allocation of Sayang coal block in the state on November 6, 2007.

The CBI had lodged an FIR claiming AES Chhattisgarh had misrepresented the fact that it was subsidiary of AES Corp USA, although on the day of filing of the application, it was not a subsidiary of the American company.

The court, however, accepted the submissions made by Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa, who presented various correspondences of AES Corp. USA, demonstrating that it had the control of AES Chhattisgarh Energy Pvt. Ltd. at the time of application.

The judge, who had on September 21, 2022 cancelled Aggarwal’s bail, noting that he “prima facie” violated the “fundamental condition of bail” by trying to influence a witness, said Sections 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC were not made out against the two accused. Aggarwal was, however, later granted bail.

The court had in May 2017 taken cognisance of the offence under Section 120-B and 420 of IPC against AES Chhattisgarh Energy Pvt. Ltd. and Agarwal.

During the final arguments, Pahwa claimed there was “no complainant or victim” in the present case as the Ministry of Coal had not lodged any complaint about having been cheated by the accused, and the CBI filed the case on its own.

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