sns & pti
NEW DELHI, 19 JUNE: Intensifying its probe in Coalgate, the CBI has registered a new case against a Delhi-based steel company for allegedly giving false data about its land holdings and capacity while getting a coal block in Chhattisgarh.
According to CBI sources, Rathi Steel and Power Limited, its Chief Executive Officer Udit Rathi and unknown others have been booked for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating and for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
“It is alleged that the Delhi based private Steel and Power company misrepresented on account of stage of preparedness in terms of possession of land to get the coal block. It is also alleged that the company was favoured for allocation of coal block over other better placed applicants,” a CBI spokesperson said.
The company, in its application, had said it was in possession of 250 acres of land whereas it had only 150 acres of land, the sources said.
The CBI also alleged that the company had proposed to have 0.75 million tonnes per annum capacity for their steel plant, for which block was sought, whereas when it was allocated the capacity remained unutilised, the sources said.
The company was allocated Kesla North coal block in Korba, Chhattisgarh on 5 August 2008.
This is the 13th FIR in connection with the coal blocks allocation scam probe. Soon after registering the FIR, CBI teams carried out searches on the premises of the company in Delhi, Ghaziabad and Sambalpur in Odisha.
The company was not available for comments. The CBI is probing alleged irregularities in the allocation of 192 coal blocks which were made between 1993 to 2011.
The agency has registered three preliminary enquiries in this connection ~ related to allocation between 2006-09, allocation between 1993 to 2004 and allocations to joint ventures.
Rathi Steel and Power, meanwhile, denied any wrongdoing and said it never misrepresented facts to get the coal block. “The Odisha government had committed us the 250 acres of land. We have not got the committed land so far. It is still under process. Even today, we have 180 acres of land in our possession,” company’s President (commercial) Y K Agrawal told PTI.
“Hence, we don’t think that we misrepresented any fact. As far as getting the block over others is concerned, we don’t know what to say on this. If I am fulfilling all eligibility criteria, I am also entitled to get the block,” he added.
Mr Agrawal said the registration of case against the company was also surprising. “The CBI had called us twice during last November/December. Whatever information it had sought, we provided. Thereafter, they did not ask for any information and we presumed that everything was settled and there was no problem,” he said.
‘PM must quit for free Coalgate probe’
NEW DELHI, 19 JUNE: The BJP has demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to facilitate free and fair investigation into the coal blocks allocation scam. Addressing a Press conference today, BJP spokesperson Ms Meenakshi Lekhi said the culpability of the Prime Minister is obvious as coal blocks have been allocated with the PM signing on them as coal minister. “It is such an irony that the CBI which reports to the PM is directly investigating the PMO on the action of the PM who still is in office”, Ms Lekhi said, adding “to facilitate free and fair probe Dr Singh must step aside”. sns