New Delhi, Feb 1: A Special court today directed Gondwana Ispat Ltd (GIL) and its director Ashok Daga, who were summoned as accused in a coal scam case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Maharashtra’s Majra coal block to the firm, to appear before it on February 12. Also Read - CBI Raids 40 Places Across 3 States In Connection With Illegal Coal Trade

Daga and the firm’s representative were scheduled to appear before court but the counsel representing the accused sought exemption from personal appearance for his client, saying the director’s daughter was getting married today. Also Read - Coal Scam: Former Union Coal Secretary HC Gupta, Four Others Convicted, Found Guilty of Criminal Conspiracy, Corruption

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar allowed the exemption plea moved by Daga’s counsel for today only but asked the lawyer as to why the company’s representative has not appeared before him despite summons being served to the firm.(ALSO READ : Coal block scam: CBI registers 27th case). Also Read - Congress Demands Independent Probe Into Coal Scam Involving 'Modi's Friend' Adani

The defence counsel told the court that Daga will appear on behalf of the firm in the case.

“An application seeking exemption from personal appearance moved by counsel appearing for accused number 2 (Daga) on the ground that the marriage of his daughter is scheduled for today. No one has put up his appearance on behalf of the company despite service of summons. Put up for appearance on February 12,” the judge said.

The court had earlier summoned the firm and its director as accused in the case for allegedly misrepresenting facts to get the Majra coal block allocated to it in 2003 and an FIR was lodged in the matter in 2014.

The court had summoned them for the alleged offences of criminal conspiracy and cheating under IPC.
CBI has alleged in the charge sheet that during the probe, it was found that Daga had made “unsubstantiated claim even towards financial preparedness and tie up regarding iron ore with Odisha government”.

It has alleged that as the Ministry of Coal (MOC) then was not following any system of checking falsity of information provided by an applicant company, M/S GIL and Daga in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy misrepresented to various government authorities and induced them to reserve or allocate Majra coal block in their favour.

CBI has claimed that during probe, it was found that though after allocation of the coal block in 2003 Daga had filed an undertaking to MOC that he will install plant or carry out its extension and develop the coal mine, he sold off the company to Nand Kishore Sarda while earning huge profit in October 2005.