CBI case against Lalu confidant in coal scam

CBI case against Lalu confidant in coal scam

24th FIR registered by probe agency on issue

CBI case against Lalu confidant in coal scam

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday registered a case against former Union minister Prem Chand Gupta, a close aide of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, and his son for allegedly falsifying records in getting a coal block in Maharashtra.

The case was registered against Gupta, at present a Rajya Sabha member, and his son Gaurav after the Central Vigilance Commission agreed with the CBI that a case was made out, said official source.

This is the 24th FIR registered by the probe agency in connection with the coal block allocation scam, being monitored by the Supreme Court.

The allegation is that the company had allegedly falsified records submitted to the government that it had spent Rs 100 crore on power plants, but a close scrutiny of the papers showed that only Rs 80 crore had been spent, said the sources.

The company allegedly falsified the records to meet the basic requirements for getting a coal block, the sources added.

Efforts to reach Gupta for his reaction did not fructify as he was on pilgrimage, and his residence in Delhi refused to share his mobile number.

According to the FIR, the company in question was IST Steel and Power—an associate company of the IST Group, owned and run by Gupta’s sons Mayur and Gaurav.

IST Steel was allocated the Dahegaon/Makardhokra IV coal block in Maharashtra. The company had applied for a block on January 12, 2007, and was awarded it on June 17, 2009.

Gupta, a member of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, was minister of state for corporate affairs in UPA-I.