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Coal: CBI questions Nava Bharat Power directors

delhi Updated: Nov 07, 2012 21:35 IST
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The CBI on Wednesday questioned two directors of Hyderabad-based Nava Bharat Power Private Limited who are accused in the case of alleged cheating by the company while applying for coal blocks.

CBI sources said while promoters and directors of the company - Y Harish Chandra Prasad and P Trivikrama Prasad - were called to the agency headquarters in New Delhi for questioning, director of Essar group Vikash Saraf was quizzed on Tuesday in connection with the case.

Meanwhile, the CBI is also likely to question Congress MP Vijay Darda's son Devendra this week in connection with a separate coal block allocation scam probed by the agency.

The CBI had alleged in its FIR that after getting the coal block in Odisha by misrepresenting the facts, promoters of the company made huge profits of Rs 200 crore by selling their stake to Essar Power and its subsidiary company.

Essar Power is not named as accused in the CBI FIR. The company had rejected the allegations, saying its acquisition of Nava Bharat Power Pvt Ltd (NPPL) was "transparent" and NPPL was never its front company.

The sources said the duo were questioned at length about sale of stake to Essar Power to which they said that souring relations between them were primary reason for selling it.

They were grilled about the company's relations with Globeleq Singapore and Suez International. At different stages of screening process, they had allegedly claimed that it was supported by these firms to inflate its net worth.

The CBI alleged that the coal ministry had kept a minimum net worth of Rs 50 lakh per mega watt of the maximum capacity of the proposed power plant as a pre-qualification criteria.

The FIR alleged that the company with a proposed capacity of 2240 MW would not have pre-qualified for the recommendation of the Ministry of Power but for this deception.