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Rediff.com  » News » CBI files charge-sheet against Navabharat Power in coal-gate scam

CBI files charge-sheet against Navabharat Power in coal-gate scam

March 10, 2014 14:45 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday filed its first charge-sheet in a Delhi court in the coal blocks allocation case against Navabharat Power Pvt Ltd for allegedly misrepresenting facts and making "fraudulent" claims to "embellish" its applications to get allotments between 2006 and 2009.

Besides Navabharat Power Pvt Ltd, its two directors -- P Trivikrama Prasad and Y Harish Chandra Prasad -- were named in the charge-sheet filed before Special CBI Judge Madhu Jain.

According to court sources, CBI has charge sheeted Navabharat Power Pvt Ltd and its two directors under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code.

The CBI has not charged them under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the sources said.

They further said that other documents and annexures which are to be filed along with the charge-sheet will be submitted before the judge later in the day.

The CBI, in its FIR filed on September 3, 2012, had named Navabharat Power Pvt Ltd, its two directors along with some unknown public servants of the ministry of coal and Jharkhand government and others in the case.

The FIR was lodged after a preliminary enquiry was initiated on the reference of the Central Vigilance Commission.

In the FIR, CBI had also accused unknown officials of the coal ministry of entering into conspiracy and "willfully" not scrutinising documents to allow "undue advantage" for the company in getting the blocks.

The agency, in its FIR against Navabharat Power Pvt Ltd, had said that in order to "embellish its claim for allocation of coal block", the firm "fraudulently" claimed that it was having the required net worth to get the coal mines.

The CBI had said that after allocation of coal blocks, the promoters and shareholders of Navabharat Power Pvt Ltd sold off their entire shareholdings in July 2010 to Essar
Power Ltd and its subsidiary company at "huge profit of over Rs 200 crores."

However, court sources said Essar Power Ltd has not been named as an accused in the charge-sheet.

"Enquiry also revealed that officials of the ministry of coal in pursuance of criminal conspiracy, wilfully and purposefully, did not scrutinise the aforesaid documents regarding false claims/concealment of facts by Navabharat Power Pvt Ltd and thus facilitated the company in getting undue advantage in allocation of Rampia and Dip Side of Rampia Coal Blocks," the CBI had said in the FIR.

In its FIR against Navabharat Power Pvt Ltd, the CBI had said the ministry of coal had invited applications for allocation of 38 coal blocks, including 15 for the power sector and 23 for non-power sector, through an advertisement in November 2006.

It had said the 38 coal blocks included Rampia and 'Dip Side' of Rampia coal blocks in Orissa, having a geological reserve of 645.235 MMT, which were to be allocated to the power sector.

The CBI had alleged that the Screening Committee recommended allocation of these coal blocks jointly to six companies -- Sterlite Energy Ltd, GMR Energy Ltd, Lanco Group Ltd, Mittal Steel India Ltd, Reliance Energy Ltd and Navabharat Power Pvt Ltd for their proposed power plants.

It had said, "The ministry of power had recommended allocation of Rampia block to Sterlite Energy Ltd and Vedanta Alumina Ltd and Dip Side of Rampia block to Monnet Ispat and Energy Ltd, Jindal Photo Ltd and Mittal Steel India Ltd."

“However, Navabharat Power Pvt Ltd had recommendations of Ministry of Power for allocation of Mandakini coal block in the state of Orissa. The government of Orissa had also recommended Navabharat Power Ltd for allocation of a coal block," it had alleged.

"Therefore, a regular case is registered under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) of the IPC and 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against Navabharat Power Pvt Ltd, its directors viz P Trivikrama Prasad ... Y Harish Chandra Prasad ... along with unknown public servants under Ministry of Coal and unknown others," the CBI had said.

Image: A worker at a coal mine

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