HindustanTimes Thu,18 Dec 2014

Coalgate: CBI questions Jharkhand ex-CM Koda

Abhishek Sharan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 18, 2014
First Published: 00:32 IST(18/4/2014) | Last Updated: 00:35 IST(18/4/2014)

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has questioned former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda in connection with alleged irregularities in the allocation of a state coal block in 2008 to two firms of Congress’s Lok Sabha MP and industrialist Naveen Jindal.

The CBI had in June 2013 lodged a first information report (FIR) against the then Union minister of state for coal Dasari Narayana Rao, Jindal, his two firms - Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Private Limited (GSPL), members of the 35th inter-ministerial Screening Committee, among others, for the allocation of a state coal block Amarkonda Murgadangal despite alleged misrepresentation and concealments in the application form.

A CBI official told HT, "We have questioned Madhu Koda about the fact that the then state government is suspected to have favoured the two accused firms in the allocation."

"Though the power ministry had not recommended JSPL and GSIPL due to their inadequate preparation related to setting up of the end-use projects, the Jharkhand government had still recommended the two along with a third firm vide its letter dated June 20, 2007," said the official.

"But the Jharkhand government later changed its recommendation on July 30, 2007, by striking out the third firm’s name and recommended just the two accused firms," he said.

The two accused firms had also allegedly misrepresented in its application form their level of preparedness in setting up their end-use projects.

HT had first reported in October 2013 that the agency would question the Jharkhand government’s functionaries.

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