Coalgate: CBI files FIRs against Naveen Jindal, ex-minister Rao

11 Jun 2013


Naveen JindalThe Central Bureau of Investigation today filed charges, or first information reports (FIRs) against Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, its promoter, Congress MP Naveen Jindal, Gagan Sponge and two other companies in the coal allocation scam.

Jindal's home and offices were raided this morning by the CBI.

Former minister of state for coal Dasari Narayan Rao has also been named in the fresh FIRs. The CBI alleges that the companies misrepresented crucial information to grab allocation of valuable coal fields from the government.

According to a report quoting unnamed sources Jindal's company provided kickbacks to Rao in exchange for coal licenses..

Teams of the agency carried out searches today at 15 locations including the residence of Congress MP from Kurukshetra Jindal and Rao at New Delhi and Hyderabad respectively.

They said other companies including Gagan Sponge, Jindal Realty and New Delhi Exim besides Rao's company Saubhagya Media have been booked for alleged cheating and misrepresentation of facts in bagging Amarkonda Murgadangal block in Birbhum district of Jharkhand in 2008.

Reacting to the development, a JSPL official said, "JSPL, as a law abiding company, is governed by a strong ethical code of conduct. This is an ongoing CBI investigation into coal block allocation. At this stage of investigation, JSPL is committed to fully cooperate with CBI."

This is the 12th FIR registered by the agency in connection with its probe in coal allocation scam.

Rao has already been questioned by the agency.

The CBI has said that coal licenses between 2004 and 2009 were assigned by a committee that did not conduct adequate background checks on firms and made allocations without transparency. 

In March last year, a report by the Comptroller & Auditor General of India criticised the allocation of 155 coalfields to about 100 private and some state-run firms.

The Indian subsidiary of ArcelorMittal and steel makers Tata and Jindal Steel and Power are among the companies named in the report.

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