New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is carrying out raids at eight locations including Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Haryana in connection with the coal scam. The raids were conducted after an FIR was filed against a Delhi-based private company Pushp Steels.
With the registration of this new case, the total number of FIRs registered in the coal allocation go up to 11. CBI sources said Pushp Steel and Mines Ltd and several of its directors including Atul Jain and Sanjay Jain were named in the FIR.
Sources claimed it was alleged in the FIR that the company got mining lease on the basis of recommendation from the Chhattisgarh government despite having no experience and lacking enough capital required for starting mining operations.
The CBI had earlier booked some companies for alleged cheating, forgery and misrepresentation of facts in their applications for coal blocks. In 2012, the Central Vigilance Commission had entrusted the CBI to probe into a complaint filed by by BJP leader Prakash Javadekar with regards to alleged irregularities in the allotment of coal mines for captive use.
Following the complaint, MPs of the Congress also filed complaints into coal block allocation during the NDA tenure. Based on these complaints, the CBI had registered three preliminary enquiries - to probe alleged irregularities in coal block allocation to private companies between 2006 and 2009, allocation of the blocks between 1993 and 2004 and allocation of coal blocks to joint venture companies which included a private player.
The FIRs registered by the agency have arisen from the first preliminary enquiry which focuses on the allotments made between 2006 and 2009. In August 2012, Comptroller and Auditor General had said that 142 coal fields allocated between 2004 and 2009 allowed beneficiaries to make staggering benefits of up to Rs 1.86 lakh crore as mining rights were given at undervalued rates instead of using auction route.
(With additional information from PTI)