Centre should act upon collegium recommendations within reasonable time: SC

By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday directed two special courts to try the cases related to the coal scam which are pending trial with the Patiala House sessions court in Delhi.

A three-judge bench headed by CJI SA Bobde passed the order while considering an application filed by the registrar general of Delhi High Court to relieve special judge Bharat Parashar currently hearing the coal scam cases.

Parashar was appointed at the Supreme Court orders in July 2014 as special judge to exclusively hear coal scam cases. He continued in this post for six years.

The bench designated two judges, Arun Bharadwaj and Sanjay Bansal, to hear the pending cases. It directed the appointment of the two judicial officers in the order of their seniority.

“We consider it appropriate to nominate Arun Bhardwaj and Sanjay Bansal as Presiding Judges of Special Court Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. They shall be appointed in the order of their seniority. Ordered accordingly,” the bench said in the order.

In 2014, the top court had set aside the 214 coal blocks allocated by the Centre between 1993 and 2010 on finding that the process was not transparent and unfair in parting with natural wealth of the country. 

Special public prosecutor RS Cheema had recommended to the apex court to assign two special courts instead of one considering 41 cases were pending trial. Cheema will act as the special public prosecutor.

Two years, deadline for disposal of cases

The bench took note of the submission of special public prosecutor RS Cheema that the law contemplates the disposal of such cases has to be ensured in two years which may be extended up to four times by a period of six months each.