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‘Koda pushed officers to favour firm’

Former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda pressurised officials to favour a Mumbai-headquartered steel company for an iron ore mining lease after his aides struck a Rs 13-crore deal with the firm, the CBI has alleged in its first chargesheet filed against Koda.

delhi Updated: Nov 13, 2010 07:49 IST
Rajesh Ahuja

Former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda pressurised officials to favour a Mumbai-headquartered steel company for an iron ore mining lease after his aides struck a R13-crore deal with the firm, the CBI has alleged in its first chargesheet filed against Koda.

According to the charge sheet — the first of nearly ten cases being investigated against Koda — filed in a Ranchi court on Friday, the money was paid by cheque to two Jamshedpur-based firms on behalf of the company for the mining contract in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district.

But the deal fell through when Koda’s aides demanded 50% of profits in the contract. A senior CBI officer said the firm got back R5.35 crore.

Koda’s aide, Sanjay Chaudhry, told them the rest of the money was spent on ‘processing’ application for mining lease and paying off the then CM. “We have a strong case against the accused as all the transactions took place through cheques,” added the official.

Two senior officers of the Jharkhand government’s mines department — one of them has since retired — told the CBI Koda had refused to clear the file relating to the iron ore lease till the company’s name was shortlisted for mining lease. Besides Koda, the CBI chargesheet names his two aides, Sanjay Chaudhry and Binod Sinha, as accused. Koda and Sinha are in jail, Chaudhry is believed to be hiding in Dubai.