New Delhi, Dec 4: Four years after registering a preliminary enquiry, CBI has registered a fresh case in coal scam against Prakash Industries alleging cheating in the allocation of Chotia coal block during the NDA government’s tenure in 2003. Based on a complaint by former Congress MP Sandeep Dikshit and others in 2012, the Central Vigilance Commission had directed CBI to register the case but it remained a preliminary enquiry till now. Also Read - Historic! Install CCTV in All Police Stations, CBI, NIA, ED, NCB, Including Interrogation Rooms: Supreme Court
In its FIR, CBI has alleged its probe brought out facts against Prakash Industries which are offences punishable for criminal conspiracy and cheating under Indian Penal Code. The FIR registered on Friday says Coal Ministry had issued allocation letter to Prakash Industries on September 4, 2003 for the allocation of Chotia Coal Block for expansion of its sponge iron plant in Champa, Madhya Pradesh (now in Chhattisgarh) with certain conditions. Also Read - Shekhar Suman Speaks on Sushant Singh Rajput Death Case Again, Says Agencies Are Helpless in Absence of Evidence
The company did not respond to a query sent on email seeking reaction on the development. The agency alleged the company made “false claims” about production figures of its sponge iron plant in several of its communications to the Coal Ministry while applying for the block. The company had first applied in 1993. Later, on November 26, 2011 and January 22, 2012 it informed Coal Ministry that it was producing 4.25 lakh tonnes of sponge iron per annum, the FIR alleged. Also Read - CBI Raids 40 Places Across 3 States In Connection With Illegal Coal Trade
However, in a letter on January 22, 2003, the company claimed it had acquired highest capacity in 2001-02 with 2.74 lakh tonne as compared to 1995-96 when the production was 1.59 lakh tonne. It said the plant is expected to achieve figures of 2.9 lakh tonne in 2002-03, hence captive coal block be allotted to It thus proving that claims made by it in 2001 and 2002 to be false, the CBI FIR alleged.
The FIR also alleged that during 19th Screening Committee meeting held on May 26, 2003 the company claimed that existing sponge iron plant has a linkage from Coal India Limited and it seeks to add another 4 LTPA capacity after which the panel decided to allocate the block “exclusively for 4 LTPA capacity additions” in the plant.
“The block was allegedly allocated to the company to meet 1 MTPA (metric tonnes per annum) coal exclusively for expansion of existing sponge iron plant for addition of 4 LTPA (lakh tonne per annum) plant at Champa, Chhattisgarh,” CBI said. It was further mentioned that the coal mined from this block shall exclusively be used by the company to meet the requirement for 0.4 MT of expansion of the existing sponge iron plant.
“Enquiry further revealed that as per Coal Controller Organisation (CCO) reports dated October 8, 2009 and May 20, 2011, the production of sponge iron in the years 2006-07 to 2009-10 ranged between 2.05 LT (2006-07) to 3.35 LT (2009-10), respectively making it clear that the company even later did not attain capacity of even 4 LTPA,” the FIR alleged.
It alleged that the facts prima facie disclosed that the company conspired with unknown persons and misrepresented before Ministry of Coal/Screening Committee with regard to existing capacity with a view to secure Chotia coal block.
CBI had earlier lodged an FIR against Prakash Industries Ltd and various others in connection with alleged irregularities in allocation of Chhattisgarh’s Fatehpur coal block but it was closed following lack of prosecutable evidence against it. According to CBI, the Fatehpur coal block was allocated jointly to Prakash Industries Ltd and one other company by the 35th screening committee.