Coal scam: Court allows Naveen Jindal to travel abroad

Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal, accused in a coal block allocation scam case along with 14 others, was today allowed by a special court to travel abroad from June 14 to June 29 for business purposes. Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar allowed the plea filed by Jindal seeking the court’s permission to go abroad.

Jindal was earlier granted bail by the court which had imposed several conditions on him, including that he will not leave the country without the court’s nod.

Drama in court unfolded in the special court, with senior Advocate Hariharan stating that his client Naveen Jindal “has never approached the judge or will ever do it in the future” and that he is “hurt over the way the media has constructed the issue.” The submissions comes after Special Bharat Parashar hearing a case related to the allocation of a coal block in 2008 Monday had said that he had been approached more than once by one of the accused, and warned defence lawyers against such a move being repeated.

Making his submissions before the Special Judge, Senior Advocate Hariharan said, “I have enquired about it, my client has never approached anyone. It has never happened or nor will it happen in the future. But the way the media has constructed the issue and that way fingers were pointed out on my client, it has affected us.” Rebutting to the submissions, the judge replied “The rationale when I said something on that day, I did not say you (Jindal) did it. I said it because, the message will go through you. I did not point fingers at anyone. I still hold it, any message has to be given to the client, will be given through counsel. Moreover, on this issue, if you want, I can put it black and white. No aspersions was passed on him (Jindal).” To which Hariharan said, “The fingers pointed out at my client by media which has affected us. It is not the way the lordship has pointed out. I have never come across anything like this in 27 years of practice. I will never defend a client who indulges in something like us.”

[With inputs from PTI]