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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Coalgate: CBI picks holes in AMR’s clarification

Abhishek Sharan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 30, 2012
First Published: 00:47 IST(30/10/2012) | Last Updated: 01:21 IST(30/10/2012)

The CBI, which is probing the coal scam, has rebutted key clarification given by AMR Iron & Steel Private Limited (AMR)— one of the nine accused firms— in defence of its alleged misrepresentation and concealment to get Bander coal block in Maharashtra in 2009.  

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After filing an FIR on September 3 against the firm, four of its directors and unidentified coal ministry officials for alleged criminal conspiracy, fraud and abuse of office, the CBI has grilled several of its officials as part of the probe.

“In a meeting held between the AMR’s representative with a former public servant of the  coal ministry on September 18, 2008, in his office chamber, the former had admitted about the firm’s concealment of prior allocation of five coal blocks though such a disclosure was mandatory.

"But the firm’s officials including a few directors, who have since been grilled by us, have denied any misrepresentation or concealment, saying the five allocations were made to group firms and not AMR,” said a CBI source.

“The CBI’s review of the company officials’ version on the alleged concealment of prior allocations showed it was not factual,” said the source.

The source said, “Our probe has shown that the ministry application had asked for information on both—coal blocks allocated to the applicant in the past and blocks allocated to the applicant’s group firms. But the firm had chosen to misrepresent the fact about the prior allocations.”

“Despite having taken note of the earlier allocations to the AMR firms, the public servants in the ministry had allocated it the Bander; block instead of cancelling its application,” said the source.

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