Coal scam: CBI calls Naveen Jindal for questioning

Coal scam: CBI calls Naveen Jindal for questioning
Congress MP Naveen Jindal was on Thursday questioned by the CBI in connection with the coal block allocation scam three months after a case of cheating and criminal conspiracy was registered against him in connection with securing a coal block in Jharkhand.

The Congress MP was served a notice to appear before the CBI and presented himself before the agency on Thursday afternoon. Interestingly, the questioning was not done at the CBI headquarters to avoid media glare. Jindal could not be contacted for comments.

The CBI officials said that Jindal Steel and Power Limited and Gagan Sponge Iron Limited, also owned by Jindal, had bagged the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in 2008 through alleged misrepresentation of facts when Dasari Narayana Rao, also an accused, was the minister of state for coal. In the FIR, it is claimed that the misrepresentation was allegedly done on three counts–land, water supply and previous allocations.

Jindal’s company had allegedly claimed in the application submitted in January 2007 that it had only three coal blocks whereas it was in possession of least six coal blocks.

It was done allegedly to boost the company’s eligibility as the government was planning to avoid monopoly by not allocating large number of blocks to one firm.

The coal block was allocated to Jindal next year. Incidentally, one of Jindal’s companies bought shares from Rao’s firm at Rs 100 per share when it was actually Rs 28 only. 

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