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Firms made fraudulent claims to get coal blocks: CBI

September 26, 2012 17:41 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation has alleged that some companies which were allotted coal blocks between 2006 and 2009 had "misrepresented" facts and made "fraudulent" claims to "embellish" their applications to get the allotments.

The agency also accused officials of coal ministry of entering into conspiracy and "wilfully" not scrutinising the documents to allow "undue advantage" for the companies in getting the blocks.

The CBI, in its four FIRs filed in a court here, has named private firms -- M/s Jas Infrastructure Capital Pvt Ltd (JICPL), M/s AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, M/s Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd and M/s Navabharat Power Pvt Ltd -- as accused.

Besides these four firms, their directors along with some unknown public servants of the Ministry of Coal and Jharkhand and others have also been named in the FIRs lodged on September 3 after a preliminary enquiry which was initiated on the reference of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

CBI told the court that a regular case has been 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 AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, Nagpur, its directors namely Arvind Kumar Jayaswal, Manoj Jayaswal, Ramesh Jayaswal, Devendra Darda, son of Vijay Darda alongwith unknown public servants of Minister of Coal and unknown others.

The agency, in its FIRs against JICPL, Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd and Navabharat Power Pvt Ltd, has said that in order to "embellish its claim for allocation of coal block", these firms "fraudulently" claimed that they were having the required net worth to get the coal mines.

"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 the false claims/concealment of facts by Navabharat Power Pvt Ltd and thus facilitated the company in getting undue advantage in allocation of the Rampia and Dip Side of Rampia Coal Blocks," the CBI said.  

"We have inputs that the agitators may resort to violence just like the repeat of last year's 'Million March'. Besides, they might attack properties of Andhraites and there is also apprehension of communal disturbance," he said.

The police however, will be very strict in dealing against the agitators, Huda warned. "We will make sure that everything is peaceful," he added.

Reacting a query, Huda said police will take action against anyone creating law and order problem, irrespective of their party affiliations.

The Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC), which has given a call for 'Telangana March' on September 30 demanding statehood for the region, has already rejected the AP government's appeal to put off the proposed march and said it will go ahead with the march near Tank Bund and Necklace Road here.

Hyderabad city police have already denied permission for the march and expressed apprehension that the Telangana supporters may defy the prohibitory orders like they did

during the 'Million March' last year, which witnessed large-scale vandalism, including destruction of the statues of Telugu icons at Tank Bund here.

Regarding AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, the CBI said the firm, in its application form for allocation of coal blocks, had "fraudulently" concealed the fact that its group companies had previously been allocated five coal blocks.

Detailing the allocation of coal blocks to AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, the agency said the Ministry of Coal had invited applications for allocation of coal blocks, including Bander coal block in Maharashtra having geological reserve of 126.105 million metric tonnes (MMT).

The CBI said that the 36th Screening Committee, which is headed by coal secretary, after concluding its deliberations on July 3, 2008, recommended allocation of Bander Coal Block jointly to J K Cement Ltd, M/s Century Textiles and Industries Ltd and AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd for their proposed plants in Karnataka and Maharashtra respectively.

"The enquiry revealed that AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd had misrepresented/concealed facts in its application form in order to qualify and obtain wrongful gains/undue benefits in connivance with unknown public servants," the FIR said.

It added, "The group companies of AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd had previously been allocated five coal blocks as on the date of application. However, the company fraudulently and wilfully concealed the fact of previous allocations to the group companies with an object to avoid scrutiny on this count which would have weakened its claim."

It further said representatives of AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd had attended a meeting on September 18, 2008 with Minister of State for Coal in his chamber and they claimed that it was not a part of the Jayaswal Group, but its equity was held by the Lokmat Group, M/s Abhijeet Infrastructure Ltd and IL&FS.

The company representatives also admitted in the meeting that it was allocated five coal blocks earlier, the CBI said.

"These facts regarding earlier allocation of coal blocks ...and the equity participation by IL&FS and Lokmat Group were concealed/misrepresented by AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd in its application/feedback form," it said.

The CBI said despite taking note of earlier allocations to the AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd group firms, the Union Coal Ministry officials "wilfully did not take the enquiry to its logical conclusion."

The CBI, in its separate FIR against Jas Infrastructure Capital Pvt Ltd, said the firm had applied for allocation of coal blocks, including Mahuagarhi coal block in Jharkhand having geological reserve of 220 MMT.

It said the Screening Committee recommended allocation of Mahuagarhi coal block jointly to Calcutta Electricity Supply Co Ltd (CESC) and JICPL for their proposed power plants in Jharkhand and West Bengal respectively.

The CBI said the Ministry of Power had recommended for allocation of Mahuagarhi coal block to M/s Maithan Power Ltd while it recommended allocation of Patal East block JICPL.

It said that the Jharkhand government had not recommended JICPL for allocation of any coal block.

The FIR said JICPL fraudulently claimed the requisite net worth to show that it has met the pre-qualification criteria for allocation of coal block and also concealed the fact that its group firms were previously allocated seven coal blocks between 1999 and 2005.

"Therefore, 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 JICPL, its directors viz Manoj Kumar Jayaswal ... Abhishek Jayaswal...and Anand Jayaswal...along with unknown public servants of Ministry of Coal and other unknown persons," it said.

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