The CBI on Tuesday said the companies owned by Congress MP and industrialist Naveen Jindal had used a ‘peculiar’ circuitous route to pass on money to a firm belonging to former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao, as alleged kickbacks for coal allocation.
Jindal Group company Gagan Sponge Iron Limited gave a loan to Jindal Realty, another company owned by the same group, which in turn gave a loan to New Delhi Exim Limited, also part of the same group, which then bought shares in Rao’s firm Saubhagya Media for `100 a share, at a premium of `72 per share when it was trading at only `28 each.
In addition to Rao and Jindal and five of his group’s companies, the CBI has also booked ‘unknown members of the screening committee, which looked into the allocation of coal blocks’ and unknown directors of companies named in the FIR.
So far, the CBI has registered 12 cases in connection with the coal scam. The Comptroller and Auditor General in its report tabled in 2012 had said that the government exchequer suffered a loss of `1.86 lakh crore due to irregularities in allocation of coal blocks.
Dig deep, says BJP
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said the CBI action should not stop just with the raids. Strict action should be taken against those who have violated the law. He also said the Centre should permit the CBI to question the Coal Secretary and that the probe agencies should find out the money trail of those who benefited in the coal allocation scam.