Irregularities in coal block allocation

Published on May 23, 2015 02:18:18 AM

CBI filed on April 29 this year, a charge sheet against alleged irregularities in the allocation of the block in 2008 to Jindal Group firms- Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron (GSIPL).

CBI alleged that Jindal group was shown favour by the Jharkhand government which had dropped other firms from its recommendation. On July 30, 2007, Jharkhand government recommended the allocation of the block to only the two Naveen Jindal Group companies.

In its FIR, the CBI had said that the Jharkhand government had on June 20, 2007 recommended allocation of the block to Lanco Infratech (40 per cent), JSPL (30 per cent) and GSIPL (30 per cent). JSPL denied the allegations made against it and its management and had said that it would take remedy in accordance with law.

CBI alleged that both JSPL and GSIPL had misrepresented facts in its application and feedback form on the count of their preparedness in setting up their proposed end used plant as well the previous allocation of coal blocks to their group companies.

CBI claimed that in order to influence the decision of the Screening Committee in favour of JSPL and GSIPL, Dasari Narayan Rao had written a note on July 27, 2007 to the Coal secretary, who was the chairman of the Screening Committee.

JSPL submitted its application for coal block allocation in January 2007 to the Coal ministry for securing few blocks, including Amarkonda Murgadangal for its proposed 1,000 MW captive power plant to be set up at Patratu.

Rao, a former Congress Rajya Sabha MP, held position of minister of State for Coal between 2004 and 2006 and between 2006 and 2008. On 11 June 2013 CBI booked Rao for receiving Rs 2.25 crore from Naveen Jindal.

The Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block has reserves estimated at 410 million tonne.