Millennium Post

Naveen Jindal summoned in fresh coal scam case

Industrialist Naveen Jindal and five others were today summoned as accused by a special court for allegedly cheating the government by misrepresenting facts to get a coal block allocated in Madhya Pradesh.

Special Judge Bharat Parashar took cognizance of the charge sheet filed today by CBI in the case pertaining to allocation of the Urtan North coal block and said that "prima facie", the offences of "cheating" and "criminal conspiracy" were made out against the accused warranting their summoning.

The court directed all the accused to appear before it on September 4, the next date of hearing. This is the second case in which Jindal has been named as an accused.

Jindal is already named as accused, along with former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao and ex-Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, in another case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand.

Bedsides Jindal, the court today also summoned his firm Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL), its then authorised signatory D N Abrol, then Executive VC and CEO Vikrant Gujaral, then deputy MD Anand Goel and then Director (Finance) Sushil Maroo.

According to the CBI, the accused had misrepresented facts in its January 2007 application before the Screening Committee, responsible for recommendation of the coal block allocation, for obtaining the MP-based block and hence cheated the Coal Ministry to get wrongful gain.

The ministry had issued the allocation letter to the firm in October 2009.

The probe agency has named 64 persons as prosecution witnesses to prove its case besides annexing 60 documents in its charge sheet.

The charge sheet said that in the feedback form, the firm misrepresented/made false claims on two counts-- firstly, it had already acquired 964 acres of land for its Jharkhand-based Patratu project and secondly, it had placed orders for equipment for its Orissa-based Angul project for Rs 4,340 crore.

Reacting to the development, the firm, in a statement, said, "true facts, already in knowledge of the investigative authorities along with supporting documents, appear to have been ignored in order to build a pre-meditated, false, baseless and malicious case against the company".

"We are confident that the truth will come out during the course of the judicial process and JSPL shall stand vindicated," the firm's statement said.
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