CBI files charge sheets against former coal secy, former MoS for coal in coal block allocation scam

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a charge-sheet against former coal secretary H C Gupta, former minister of state for coal Dasari Narayan Rao, former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda, Congress leader and prominent industrialist Naveen Jindal, and 11 others including five private firms,on Wednesday in connection with the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block allocation scam in Jharkhand.

Former Coal Secretary  H C Gupta and former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao
Former Coal Secretary H C Gupta and former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao

The agency, in the charge sheet filed before special judge Bharat Parashar, has booked above individuals and firms under Sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) of the IPC and 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption act.

The Special CBI Judge will take up the charge sheet on Thursday.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities during the UPA regime in the allocation of the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block, in Jharkhand’s Birbhum district, in 2008 to Jindal Group companies JSPL and Gagan Sponge Iron Private Limited (GSIPL).

Six other individuals who figure as accused in the CBI charge-sheet are Gyan Swaroop Garg, Suresh Singhal, Rajeev Jain, Girish Kumar Juneja, R K Saraf and K Ramakrishna Prasad.

Besides the 10 individuals, the firms charge-sheeted in the case are JSPL, Jindal Realty Private Limited, Gagan Infraenergy Limited, New Delhi Exim Private Limited, and Soubhagya Media Limited.

According to sources, the agency has alleged in the charge-sheet that Jindal Group firms had misrepresented facts to acquire the coal block in 2008.

In the FIR, the CBI had alleged that Jindal Group was shown favour by the Jharkhand government, which had dropped other firms from its recommendation for allocation of the coal block in the state in 2007.

The FIR was categorical that the power ministry was against the proposal for allocating the coal block to JSPL and GSIPL. Jindal Steel refuted the allegations made by the CBI.

Jindal Steel said it was “shocked to know about filing of a charge sheet by CBI”, and added the “allocation was made on merit”. A statement by the firm said: “During the course of the investigation, the company and its officials fully cooperated with the authorities, and whenever asked, explained and provided all the supporting documents”.