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Coal scam case: Supreme Court again defers hearing on Anup Majhi’s plea for August 25

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday deferred hearing in a petition filed by Anup Majhi, main accused in the West Bengal Coal scam case, to August 25.

A Supreme Court bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah passed the order on a plea filed by Anup Majee, director of a private company, who was named as an accused in a case of corruption and criminal breach of trust with regard to illegal mining and pilferage of coal from leasehold area of Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL) in certain parts of West Bengal in November, 2020.

On March 10, the apex court had directed Majhi to file a rejoinder to the CBI counter-affidavit and cooperate with CBI in investigation. Further, the apex court said the interim stay granted against his arrest will continue.

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The CBI had filed its affidavit, stating that the state government’s consent was not required to probe into the coal mining scam. The CBI affidavit, through Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, declared that the issue of lodging an FIR by the CBI notwithstanding that the state’s consent had become pointless once the Calcutta High Court refused to quash FIR and took cognisance of CBI probe. CBI is under the mandate of Central Vigilance Commission to continue and wind up the investigation as the entire case is based on the complaint by the Eastern Coalfields Limited.

The petitioner submitted that the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led state government, in November 2018, withdrew general consent to the agency for carrying out probes in West Bengal. However, the High Court had permitted the CBI to continue the probe.

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