The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has lodged a fresh case as part of its coal-block-allocation scam against a firm of former Congress Lok Sabha member and businessman Naveen Jindal for alleged irregularities related to the allocation of a Chattishgarh coal block to it during 1993-2005.
The agency invoked charges of alleged cheating, criminal conspiracy and corruption under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption act against the Raipur-based firm Jindal Stripes Limited — now known as Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) — and unknown public officials, as part of its probe into alleged irregularities in allocations made during 1993-2005. After lodging the case, the agency undertook searches on Sunday at four locations in Raigarh district that led to recovery of “incriminating documents”, said a CBI official. This was the agency’s 36th case registered in its coal-scam probe that is being monitored by the Supreme Court.
“It was alleged that Chattisgarh’s Gare Palma IV/1 coal block was allocated to the Raipur-based firm for their sponge- iron plant in 1996. It is, inter alia, alleged that the company proposed and entered into irregular mining lease covering area much beyond the coordinates stipulated by ministry of coal,” said a CBI spokesperson.
Reacting to the agency’s case, a JSPL spokesperson said, “JSPL reiterates that all its actions are in keeping with the legal framework of the country & that it complies with the law in letter & in spirit. JSPL continues to cooperate with all the authorities in a responsive manner.”