5:39 am - Sunday September 23, 2018

Coal scam: CBI told to probe further into Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda’s role

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A Special Court on Thursday directed the CBI to further investigate into the scam in coal block allocations, involving Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda and others, in which the agency had filed a closure report.

The court also ordered further probe into the role of JAS Infrastructure and Power and others in the allocation of coal blocks.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar asked the CBI to file a progress report of its probe on December 19.

“Vide my separate detailed order, the matter has been sent for further investigation,” the judge said.

CBI filed the closure report in the case in which it had registered an FIR against JLD Yavatmal Energy, its directors Vijay Darda, his sons and other unknown persons.

The agency had lodged an FIR in the case against six individuals, the firm and unknown persons under sections 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.

In its closure report, the agency had said that nothing substantial emerged to establish cheating and criminal conspiracy among officials of the Ministry of Coal and JLD Yavatmal Energy.

CBI, which had earlier alleged in its FIR that JLD Yavatmal wrongfully concealed previous allocation of four coal blocks to its group companies in 1999-2005, said in its closure report that even if it (CBI) had revealed this, JLD Yavatmal Energy would not have been disqualified.

The report had said that investigation could not establish that JLD Yavatmal Energy has obtained any undue benefit from the Ministry of Coal with regard to its non-declaration of previous coal blocks.

During the hearing on the closure report, the CBI prosecutor had earlier submitted before the court that Vijay Darda had written several letters to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and others for allocation of coal block to JLD Yavatmal Energy.

The CBI’s investigating officer also told the court that the Chhattisgarh government, where the Fatehpur East Coal block was situated, did not recommended allocation of coal blocks to JLD Yavatmal Energy.

CBI also revealed that in the guidelines issued by the Coal Ministry as well as the minutes of the 35th meeting of the Screening Committee, there was no mention of the fact that allocation of earlier coal blocks either to the applicant company or group or associate company would be a disqualification for getting a fresh coal block.

It had said that after considering the guidelines for allocation of coal blocks, the Screening Committee recommended allocation of Fatehpur East Coal block to JLD along with RKM Powergen, Visa Power, Green Infrastructure and Vandana Vidyut.

Role of JAS Infrastructure and Power to be probed

The Special Court also ordered further investigation in the role of JAS Infrastructure and Power and three persons in which the CBI had filed a closure report.

CBI, in its closure report, had lodged an FIR against Nagpur-based businessman Manoj Jayaswal, JAS Infrastructure and Power, and others for alleged irregularities by the firm in acquiring coal blocks. It had lodged an FIR in the case on the allegation that the company had not disclosed to the Coal Ministry that it was already in possession of coal blocks.

However, during the investigation, CBI could not find any “prosecutable evidence” against the firm and others and filed a closure report in the case.

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