New Delhi, Aug 16: A special court on Thursday framed an additional charge of abetment of bribery against Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal in the case of irregularities in the allocation of a coal block in Jharkhand. Special judge Bharat Parashar framed the charges after Jindal said he was pleading not guilty and claimed trial. In April  2016, the court ordered framing of charges against Jindal, former MoS for coal Dasari Narayan Rao, former coal secretary HC Gupta and 11 others for the alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, criminal breach of trust under the IPC and sections of Prevention of Corruption Act in the case. Also Read - JSPL aims to clear all debt in next 2 years: Naveen Jindal

However, the charge of abetment was not framed then. The case pertains to allocation of the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand. The court had earlier said the charge under section 7 of the Act was made out against Rao, but since he was deceased, the charge will not be framed against him. The court had also ordered framing of section 120-B (criminal conspiracy against Jindal Steel’s then adviser Anand Goel, Nihar Stocks Ltd Director BSN Suryanarayan and Mumbai’s Essar Power Ltd Executive Vice-Chairman Sushil Kumar Maroo. Also Read - Coal Scam: Former Union Coal Secretary HC Gupta, Four Others Convicted, Found Guilty of Criminal Conspiracy, Corruption

All the accused have denied the allegations levelled against them and said there was no evidence to show that there was any conspiracy during the coal block allocation process.
The CBI has filed another charge sheet against Jindal and others, including Goel and Maroo, for allegedly cheating the government by misrepresenting facts to get the Madhya Pradesh-based Urtan North coal block. Also Read - JSPL to raise Odisha investment to Rs 100,000 cr by 2030