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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

CBI files first charge sheet in Coalgate

Abhishek Sharan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 10, 2014
First Published: 11:26 IST(10/3/2014) | Last Updated: 23:52 IST(10/3/2014)

In its first charge sheet in the coal blocks allocation scam, the CBI has charged Hyderabad-based firm Navabharat Power Private Limited (NPPL) and two of its top officials with misleading the government to bag two coal blocks in Odisha in 2008.

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During its 18-month probe, however, the CBI has not been able to ascertain if a few government officials also helped the private power company get the Rampia and Dip-side of Rampia coal blocks.

The company – estimated by the CBI to be worth `22 crore in 2010 – fetched its promoters nearly Rs. 230 crore.

In the charge sheet, filed in a city court on Monday, the CBI alleged that the promoters had made an illegal profit of around Rs. 208 crore after making false claims about the company’s net worth to get the coal blocks. NPPL bagged the coal blocks in 2008 to develop a 2,200-MW power plant in Dhenkanal district.

“NPPL got the two coal blocks illegally and therefore the profit of around Rs. 208 crore earned by its sale was also illegal,” a CBI official said.

The SC on Monday declined to grant more time to the CBI for completing its probe into the coal blocks allocation scam, directing it to file its remaining five charge sheets by March 28. The agency had sought extension of the deadline by four weeks.The CBI charge sheet named the firm and two of its top officials — chairman P Trivikrama Prasad and vice chairman-cum-managing director Y Harish Chandra Prasad — for allegedly misrepresenting and concealing facts to avoid imminent disqualification.

According to the CBI official, considering that the proposed power project’s capacity was 2,220 MW, NPPL was required to have a net worth of at least Rs. 4,000 crore as per the norms. However, its total worth — including of its two promoters — was only Rs. 300 crore.

“NPPL wrongfully claimed as its own the net worth of around R1 lakh crore of two European firms — Globeleq and Suez Energy International — in its application form,” the official said. “The probe has been kept open to find if any public servant colluded in the conspiracy as a result of wilful omission or systemic flaw,” he added.


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