The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on 11 June 2013 registered an FIR against the Congress MP and Director of Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) Naveen Jindal and former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayana Rao (congress leader from Andhra Pradesh) on charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy and misconduct in getting the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand. CBI also registered the FIR against five private companies.
For the first time, CBI has named a Government functionary for his alleged involvement in the allocation.
As per the investigations of CBI, the Jindal Steel and Power Limited and Gagan Sponge Iron misrepresented facts and provided wrong information about the land of the company, its water supply and the previous allocations made to them to get the coal blocks, in January 2008. The FIR has also noted that Naveen Jindal signed the documents, which were submitted to the Coal Ministry. Naveen Jindal is also a stake holder in the Sponge firm.
The allocations were made at the recommendation of the screening committee. Narayan Rao as the Minister of State for Coal was in the situation to influence the decision of the screening committee.
CBI has also discovered that the Jindal Group bought shares of Saubhagya Media at an inflated rate of 100 rupees per piece at the time, when the quoted price of the shares was 28 rupees per piece. The Saubhagya Media is a company owned by Narayan Rao.
The agency also discovered money trail of 2.25 crore rupees received by Saubhagya Media from Firms of Jindal group namely - JSPL, Gagan Sponge, Jindal Realty and New Delhi Exim in the same year, when the coal block allocations were made to JSPL and Gagan Sponge Iron.
CBI is now seeking the permission from the Government to name members of screening committee for coal block allocations in its FIR. Such permission was required from the Government as the officials of the screening committee are of secretary rank and above. CBI has also written a letter to the corporate affairs ministry for reconsidering its decision and to permit the prosecution of HC Gupta, who was the coal secretary and currently a member of the Competition Commission of India.
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