Coal scam: CBI files progress report in case involving Darda

Coal scam: CBI files progress report in case involving Darda

A month after a special court refused to accept CBI's closure report and directed it to further investigate a coal scam case allegedly involving Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda and others, the agency today furnished a progress report of its ongoing probe.

The progress report was filed before Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar and the agency said it was in the process of filing all the relevant documents in the court. During the brief hearing, the CBI prosecutor also submitted that the process of obtaining sanction from the competent authorities to prosecute the public persons was underway.

"Progress report has been filed. Put up the matter for the further hearing on January 29," the judge said. The court, on November 20, had directed CBI to further investigate the matter after refusing to accept its closure report filed in the case in which an FIR was registered against JLD Yavatmal Energy Ltd, its directors Vijay Darda, his son Devendra Darda, Rajendra Darda, Manoj Jayaswal, Anand Jayaswal and Abhishek Jayaswal and other unknown persons.

CBI had lodged the FIR in the case under Sections 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC. The agency, however, had later on filed the closure report, saying that no undue benefit was given to M/s JLD Yavatmal Energy Ltd by the Coal Ministry in the allocation of coal blocks.

In its closure report, the agency has said that nothing substantial has emerged to establish cheating and criminal conspiracy among officials of the Ministry of Coal and the directors of JLD Yavatmal Energy Ltd.

CBI, which had earlier alleged in its FIR that JLD Yavatmal wrongfully concealed previous allocation of four coal blocks to its group companies in 1999-2005, has said in its closure report that even if it had revealed this, it would not have been disqualified from getting the coal blocks.

The report said the investigation could not establish that the company has obtained any undue benefit from the Coal Ministry with regard to the non-declaration of the previously awarded coal blocks.

CBI had also told the court that the government of Chhattisgarh, where the Fatehpur East Coal Block is situated, had not recommended coal blocks to JLD Yavatmal Energy Ltd. In its closure report, the agency had said that in the guidelines issued by the Coal Ministry as well as the minutes of the 35th meeting of the Screening Committee, there was no mention that allocation of earlier coal blocks either to the applicant company or group or associate company would be grounds for disqualification from getting a fresh coal block.

It had said that after considering the guidelines for allocation of coal blocks, the Screening Committee recommended allocation of Fatehpur East Coal Block to JLD along with RKM Powergen, Visa Power Ltd, Green Infrastructure and Vandana Vidyut.

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