CBI registers case against Nagpur firm in coal scam

Gondwana Ispat Ltd and director Ashok Daga named

CBI registers case against Nagpur firm in coal scam

The CBI on Friday registered the 28th case in the coal scam against a Nagpur-based company and its promoters in connection with the allocation of a block to it during the previous NDA regime.

A case of criminal conspiracy and cheating has been registered against Gondwana Ispat Ltd and its promoter-director, Ashok Daga, for alleged misrepresentation of facts in the allocation of ‘Majra’ coal block in 2003 for their sponge iron plant in Maharashtra.

“It has been alleged that the then director of the private company had requested the Ministry of Coal in April 2000 for allocation of a coal block, whereas the company was incorporated only in October 2001,” a CBI statement said.

The Coal Ministry allocated the block in 2003 on the assurance that the firm would instal the plant or its extension and develop a coal mine. The “entire coal mined from the said coal block should be consumed in the proposed sponge iron plant at Warora in Maharashtra’s Chandrapur district,” it said.

Despite the affidavit Daga filed to this extent, he had reportedly disposed the equity of the firm without any intimation or permission from the Coal Ministry, and entered into an agreement with buyers without installing the plant and developing the coal mine. The accused is also said to have received Rs 1.55 crore from the buyers as one-time payment.

The agency had registered a total of three preliminary enquiries related to coal scam allocations between 2006 and 2009, and between 1993 and 2004, and projects given under the government dispensation scheme. Two other preliminary enquiries are related to missing files. All the 28 FIRs are an offshoot of these enquiries.

This is the eighth FIR after the Central Vigilance Commission overruled the agency’s plans to close this particular case besides 13 others. Earlier, the CBI had filed cases against Domco Smokeless Fuels Pvt Ltd (Jharkhand), Vandana Vidyut Ltd (Chhattisgarh), SKS Ispat (Chhattisgarh) and Revati Cements Private Limited (Madhya Pradesh), among others.

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