Coalgate: CBI books 5 companies, conducts raids
New Delhi: CBI on Tuesday carried out raids in 30 locations across the country after filing cases against five companies for alleged criminal conspiracy to get coal blocks by fudging their net worth figures and misrepresentation of facts and named Congress MP Vijay Darda in one of the FIRs.
Five companies--JLD Yavatmal Energy Limited, in which Darda was one of the Directors, JAS Infrastructure Capital Private Limited, AMR Iron and Steel, Navbharat Power Private Limited and Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Limited--with their 20 directors and unknown government officials have been named in the FIRs, CBI sources said.
The filing of cases and raids come in the midst of a raging controversy over the CAG report on the coal block allocation that has stalled Parliament for more than two weeks.
However, CBI said the action has nothing to do with CAG report and has been in the pipeline for quite some time.
The raids were conducted in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Patna, Hyderabad, Dhanbad and Nagpur and searched premises of owners of some companies.
"The cases have been registered in connection with the allegations related to getting coal blocks allocated on the basis of misrepresentations and false claims in the applications, presentations and connivance or lack of due diligence on part of public servants.
"Promoters of some of these companies have allegedly sold their stakes in an irregular manner after allocation of coal blocks," the agency said in a release.
CBI sources said in one of the FIRs, Darda's name figures as a director in JLD Yavatmal Energy Limited which got Fatehpur East Coal Block in Chhattisgarh as part of the alleged criminal conspiracy by misrepresentation facts on the eligibility conditions.
In its FIR on JLD Yavatmal Energy Limited, which bagged Fatehpur East Coal Block in Chhattisgarh, CBI has named Darda along with his son Devendra and other former and present directors including Rajendra Darda, Manoj Jayaswal, Anand Jayaswal and Abhishek Jayaswal.
CBI has booked Devendra Darda in another case which relates to alleged irregularities on the part of AMR Iron and Steel, which got Bander Coal Block in Maharashtra.
The other accused in this case include Arvind Jayaswal, Manoj Jayaswal and Ramesh Jayaswal.
Attempts to contact Vijay Darda to seek his reaction failed. His staff said he was out of station. However, on television channels, he refuted the allegations against him.
He has said that neither he was involved in any scam nor had he any partnership with Union Coal Minister Shri Prakash Jaiswal or Subodh Kant Sahai.
If any BJP leader proves that he has been allotted nine coal blocks and that he has got benefit of Rs 25,000 crore in nexus with Jaiswal, he was ready to relinquish politics. Or else the person making allegations should quit politics, he has claimed.
Manoj Jayaswal, Anand Jayaswal and Abhishek Jayaswal have also been named another case related to alleged irregularities on part of JAS Infrastructure and Power Limited which is part of Abhijeet Group.
The attempts to contact the group spokesperson failed as his office said he was on leave. The emails sent to him also bounced back.
CBI in its investigation has found that three companies -- JLD Yavatmal Energy Limited, AMR Iron and Steel JAS Infrastructure Capital Private Limited have allegedly given wrong information in their applications claiming they were not in possession of any coal blocks.
However, during inquiry it came out that the companies and firms associated with them were allegedly in possession of six coal blocks, before new applications were moved, but no mining was done by them, CBI sources said.
They said the companies allegedly signed memorandum of understanding for small periods with number of companies and added their equity to project their sound financial status at the time of application for coal blocks.
Barring one case in which Nav Bharat Power Private Limited is the main accused, CBI has slapped Indian Penal Code sections related to criminal conspiracy to cheating and sections of Prevention of Corruption Act related to bribery and criminal misconduct.
In the case of Nav Bharat Power Private Limited, which had bagged two coal blocks Rampia and dip side of Rampia in Odisha, agency has only slapped charges of cheating.
The agency has accused the company's Directors P Trivikrama Prasad and Y Harish Chandra Prasad of alleged selling their controlling stake to Essar Power in 2010 at exhorbitant prices after getting coal blocks.
They agency alleged that while 5,000 personal shares of one of the promoters were sold at nearly Rs 50 crore, company stocks worth Rs 85 crore were given at a much cheaper rate.
CBI alleged that the company even added loans given by various banks in its net worth to bag coal blocks.
In case of Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Limited which is allegedly owned by Vijay Joshi, a close aide of former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, the CBI said that the company made false claims that they had tied up with 15 companies to enhance their net-worth at the time of applying for blocks.
During the probe, nine of the 15 companies said they had nothing to do with the company.
When contacted, Vaibhav Tulsyan, whose office and home were searched by the agency for his alleged association with Vini Iron and Steel, claimed he had sold the company to a close aide of the then Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda.
Tulsyan said, "I do not know why the searches are taking place at my office and home. I have sold the company five months before coal block allocations. I was not being the beneficiary allottee. My only fault was that I was the applicant for coal blocks."
"Because of Naxal problem we were not able to run the company, so when Vijay Joshi, who was close aide of former Chief Minister Madhu Koda, approached us with a good offer, we sold the company to him. At the time coal block allocation, the company was already with Joshi" Tulsyan said.
Those accused in the case include Sanjiv Kumar Tulsyan, Prashant Tulsyan, Vaibhav Tulsyan, Nisha Tulsyan, Vimal Tulsyan, Nirmala Tulsyan, Hemant Kumar Aggarwal and chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan.
CBI sources said since the irregularities were found at the time of application in this case, the then directors have been booked by the agency.
They said although no government officials have been named in FIRs, the irregularities took place at screening level and officials who were part of that process are under agency's scanner.
They said this is just the start of investigations and more FIRs could be lodged soon.