The CBI has registered a fresh case in the coal block allocation scam by booking a Delhi-based company for ‘misrepresenting’ information in order to bag a coal block in Chhattisgarh.
The CBI registered a case against Rathi Iron and Steel Power Limited and its CEO Udit Rathi. Directors of the company board have also been booked.
The investigating agency carried out searches at nine locations in Delhi and Ghaziabad. The places where CBI searches took place include company’s office at Mohan Co-operative Industrial estate in Delhi, residence of senior company staff at Gangavihar and company premises at Old Arya Nagar in Ghaziabad and Sambalpur in Orissa.
The CBI has booked the accused under section for criminal conspiracy, cheating and graft under relevant sections of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
The CBI probe revealed that the company misrepresented information in the documents it submitted to the screening committee, which recommended coal block allocations. The company gave erroneous information on the stage of preparedness on possession of land.
Even though the company was in possession of 150 acres of land, it said in its application that it had 250 acres of land in Sambalpur, and they planned to set up a steel manufacturing unit of 0.75 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) in order to bolster its chances of bagging a coal block.
At the time of submitting the bid for the coal block, the company had no installed capacity for producing steel at Sambalpur, CBI sources said.
It is alleged that even though two other companies had better parameters, Rathi Iron and Steel was ‘favoured’ in bagging the Kesla North coal block in Chattisgarh. Rathi Iron and Steel had submitted application for the coal block in January 2007 and was awarded rights to mine in August, 2008. In June 2012, the CBI registered a preliminary enquiry to look into the alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks during 2006 to 2009.
Meanwhile, the CBI may quiz former coal secretary HC Gupta on Thursday in connection with its probe in the coal block allocation scam. He will be questioned as an ‘accused’ in the case. Gupta was the coal secretary from 2006 to 2009.