CBI questions former Coal Secretary

Published: 21st June 2013 09:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st June 2013 09:14 AM   |  A+A-

The CBI on Thursday questioned former Coal Secretary H C Gupta as an accused in connection with its probe into the coal block allocation scam.

Gupta, who arrived for questioning at 11 am, was questioned throughout the day over the alleged irregularities in the coal blocks allocation during his tenure. The questioning was mainly about allegations over allotment of coal blocks to four companies, namely JLD Yavatmal Energy Limited, JAS Infrastructure, AMR Iron and Steel and Navbharat Power Private Limited (NPPL). The companies and their directors are already under the CBI probe.  The CBI suspects that these companies were  favoured by Gupta, thereby  increasing their chances of bagging coal blocks. It is alleged that mandatory inspection and checks, needed to be done before allotment, were ignored.

Congress MP Vijay Darda’s son is a director on the board of J L D Yavatmal Energy Limited and AMR Iron and Steel.

The directors of Navbharat Power Private Limited, Y Harishchandra Prasad and P Trivikrama Prasad had sold the coal block to Essar group post-allotment, at a profit of `200 crore.

Gupta held the charge of Coal Secretary from 2006 to 2009. He was also the head of the screening committee recommending allocation of coal blocks. During his tenure, 151 companies were awarded 68 coal blocks.

The CBI recently received  clearance from the Centre to probe into Gupta’s role in the coal block allocation from 2006 to 2009.

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