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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Firms hid earlier allocations to get new blocks, says CBI

Rajesh Ahuja, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 07, 2012
First Published: 01:17 IST(7/9/2012) | Last Updated: 02:19 IST(7/9/2012)

Out of around 142 companies examined by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with its probe into the coal block allocation, the agency sleuths have zeroed in on around two dozen companies for various irregularities.

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According to the CBI sources, the companies that may be booked in the next set of FIRs have also jacked up their net worth by artificial means.

Most of them had been allocated coal blocks earlier also but they were just found to be hoarding them.

They did not disclose the earlier allocation while applying for fresh coal blocks.
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“The charges will be identical to the first set of FIRs that will be first in the next two weeks,” said a senior agency official requesting anonymity.

The CBI is investigating the coal block allocations to private companies between 2006 and 2009.

According to investigators, so far the allegedly errant companies were limited to around two dozen but the figure could go up when the CBI starts questioning government officials that participated in the screening committee meetings.

“We may find evidence of bribery. Some of the companies may have bribed officials to get coal blocks. Then we can book more companies,” an investigating official said.

According to CBI sources, during the course of preliminary enquiry the CBI had questioned many state and central government official.

Manoj Jayaswal, the chairman of Abhijeet group, who has been named in three FIRs was also examined.

But now that the agency has registered formal cases, all these official and directors of five accused private companies will be called for questioning.

“Vijay Darda’s son Devendra participated in most of the meetings. He was the key figure. He will be summoned first along with Manoj Jayaswal,” an official said.

“We will definitely question former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda will also be quizzed in relation with the FIR against Vini Iron and Steel. Vini had been taken over by Koda’s key aide Vijay Joshi,” he added.

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