New Delhi, June 21: The CBI today searched Congress MP Naveen Jindal’s cupboards, after he returned last night from abroad, and was asked to join the investigating agency’s probe in the allocation of a coal block to his company Jindal Steel and Power Ltd.
During the searches conducted on June 11, the CBI was unable to complete its operation at Jindal’s 6-Prithviraj Road residence here as some of the cupboards and almirahs were locked and they could only be unlocked by the MP, who was out with his family at the time.
CBI sources said that a search team went to his residence this morning and searched the cupboards and almirahs in the presence of Jindal, who has been named in its FIR, along with former Minister of State for Coal D Narayan Rao, for alleged cheating and graft.
The CBI had communicated to Jindal to join the probe as soon as possible since these cupboards and almirahs could be opened only after his arrival.
According to the FIR, JSPL and Gagan Sponge Iron Ltd, also a firm belonging to Jindal, had bagged Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand in 2008 by alleged misrepresentation of facts when Rao was the Minister of State for coal.
Within a year, a block was allocated to JSPL in January 2008, CBI sources claimed, noting that shares of Rao’s firm Saubhagya Media, listed at Rs 28 then, were purchased by one of Jindal’s firm — New Delhi Exim Ltd — at a whopping Rs 100 per share with total investment of nearly Rs 2.25 crore, which is alleged to be illegal gratification.
Head of External Affairs at JSPL, Manu Kapoor had earlier said, “JSPL, as a law abiding company, is governed by a strong ethical code of conduct. This is an ongoing CBI investigation into coal block allocation. At this stage of investigation, JSPL is committed to fully cooperate with the CBI.” pti