Irregularities in Coal Blocks Allocation: CBI Tells SC
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Investigations in the coal block allocations have established irregularities by government authorities in allocation of the natural resources and around 300 companies are under its scanner, the CBI today told Supreme Court.

In an affidavit filed before the apex court, the agency said that it is taking up the probe against each and every company which has been allocated coal block since 1993 and "in particular during the period 2006 to 2008."

"CBI learnt that during the period 1993 onwards there were irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks and awarding contracts for development of mines and formation of joint ventures by public sector undertakings under the Government dispensation category.

"The concerned authorities did not follow the rules and procedures for awarding the mines development contract for the coal blocks allocated under Government dispensation category by Ministry of Coal," the affidavit said.

The agency said that a special team comprising investigators specifically selected by the CBI Director has been formed and they are scrutinising 700 files running into approximately 1.60 lakh pages.

"The system adopted by the concerned authorities in formation of joint ventures was not transparent and that due diligence was not observed during the process.

"Some public servants had vested interests in the award of contract for the development of mines or joint ventures with private parties. It was also suspected that large number of private companies had unduly benefited in the process," the agency said.

The agency said it is taking a "broad and comprehensive" approach in its probe and it is also looking into the allegation regarding the delay in tabling of the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill, 2008 before the Parliament.

"Inquiry is considering cases relating to allocation of coal blocks to more than 300 companies. So far, inquiry in respect of 12 companies have been concluded, out of which, the cases in respect of 9 companies have led to registration of FIRs," the agency said.

The agency placed before the apex court a list of the companies and their directors against whom FIR has so far been lodged.

The companies are--Jas Infrastructure Capital Pvt Ltd, AMR Iron & Steel Pvt Ltd, JLD Yavatmal Energy Ltd, Navbharat Power Ltd, Vini Iron & Steel Udyog Ltd, Grace Industries Ltd, Vikash Metal & Power Ltd, Green Infrastructure Ltd and Kamal Sponge Steel & Power Ltd.

The agency said that it is not revealing all information of its probe in order to "preserve the confidentiality and integrity of the inquiry".

The affidavit was filed in response to the apex court order which had directed it to file comprehensive reply on the alleged irregularities in the coal blocks allocation.
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