A Supreme Court bench headed by CJI R.M. Lodha has reportedly appointed Punjab and Haryana High Court Senior Counsel, R.S. Cheema as the Special Public Prosecutor to try the influential people in the coal blocks allocation scam case.
The bench also approved the appointment of Additional Sessions Judge Bharat Parashar as a judge of the Special Court that was constituted to look into the offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and “other allied offences”. The cases will be heard on a day to day basis.
A Supreme Court bench comprising of CJI R.M. Lodha, Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph, had paved way for a structured and consolidated prosecution in the coal block allocation case. A name, from the Delhi Higher Judicial Services, had to be submitted by July 25th.
Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha had named senior lawyer Gopal Subramanium as his first choice to be appointed as a Special Public Prosecutor.
The apex court is hearing PILs seeking cancellation of about 250 allotments of coal blocks made by the UPA government between 2004 and 2012 – 101 for the steel sector, 97 for the power industry, ten for cement and 37 for “commercial use.” Suspected irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks could have led to a notional loss of Rs.1.86 trillion to the exchequer, the government auditor, the Comptroller of Auditor General (CAG), said in a report in 2012, exposing what has been dubbed “coalgate” by sections of the media.
Read more about the scam here.