Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, Mar 10:
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today filed the first chargesheet in the coal block allocation scam in a Delhi court.
The chargesheet has been filed against Navabharat Power Private Limited and its two directors, charging them with cheating and conspiracy.
The charge sheet was filed before Special CBI Judge Madhu Jain.
According to the chargesheet, Navabharat, along with other companies, misrepresented facts to get coal block allocation.
The CBI named the company and its two directors – P. Trivikrama Prasad and Y. Harish Chandra Prasad – as accused in the case.They were formally charged in court under various sections dealing with cheating and criminal conspiracy. The CBI said in order to “embellish its claim for allocation of coal block”, the Navabharat Power Pvt. Ltd. “fraudulently” claimed that it was having the required net worth to get the coal mines.
The agency added that inquiry also revealed that officials of the coal ministry in pursuance of criminal conspiracy, wilfully and purposefully, did not scrutinise the aforesaid documents regarding the false claims/concealment of facts by the company.
The Navbharat was allocated a 2250 MW coal based power project in Odisha. The project was then sold to Essar Power at a huge profit of Rs 200 crore.
Navabharat Power Pvt. Ltd. was acquired by Essar power in 2010 and thus the company was facilitated in getting undue advantage in allocation of the Rampia and Dip Side of Rampia coal blocks in Odisha.
The Supreme Court had asked CBI, during the last hearing on February 11, to submit a status report about filing of charge sheet in six of the cases finalised by the agency.
CBI has filed over 16 FIRs which included those against AMR Iron and Steel, JLD Yavatmal Energy, Vini Iron and Steel Udyog, JAS Infrastructure Capital Pvt Ltd, Grace Industries, Jindal Steel and Power, Rathi Steel and Power Ltd, Jharkhand Ispat, Green Infrastructure, Kamal Sponge, Pushp Steel, Hindalco, BLA Industries, Castron Technologies and Castron Mining and Nav Bharat Power Private Limited.
These FIRs were registered after the CBI probed three preliminary inquiries related to coal block allocation between 2006 and 2009, 1993 and 2004 and projects given under a government scheme.
CBI was asked to file charge sheets in all the cases finalised by it by first week of March but the agency submitted a petition on 4 March seeking more time to do so.
The CBI, which is probing the Coal-Gate scam, said precious coal blocks were allotted arbitrarily to beneficiaries close to the government.
According to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), an estimated loss of Rs. 1.86 lakh crores was caused to the national exchequer in the scam.