The CBI has closed cases against Congress MP Vijay Darda and his two companies in connection with the alleged irregularities during the coal block allocations, citing “insufficient prosecutable evidence” to nail the firms.
The FIRs were registered in September 2012 against Darda and his two companies — JLD Yavatmal Energy Limited and JAS Infrastructure Capital Private Limited — which bagged Fatehpur East Coal Block in Chhattisgarh by allegedly entering into a criminal conspiracy with the coal ministry officials and providing wrong information in their applications.
Subsequently, searches were carried out at various places and several people, including Darda, his son Devendra, brother and Maharashtra Cabinet minister Rajendra Darda and Manoj Jayaswal, were questioned.
In its closure report on JLD Yavatmal Energy, the CBI concluded that during the course of investigation, “no evidence could be gathered to prove prima-facie commission of offence under sections 120-B (Criminal Conspiracy) and 420 (cheating)” against the company, its directors or any other public or private person.
In the other case, Nagpur-based businessman Manoj Jayaswal, who had close association with the Dardas, his brother Anand and son Abhishek were named as accused in alleged irregularities by JAS Infrastructure and Power Limited. The allegation against this company was that it had not disclosed to the coal ministry that it was in possession of coal blocks earlier.
However, soon during an enquiry it came out that the company and firms associated with it were allegedly in possession of six coal blocks, and hence no mining was done by them, said the CBI official.
Ex-minister Dasari Rao questioned
The CBI on Monday quizzed former MoS for coal Dasari Narayana Rao in connection with the alleged irregularities in allocation of a coal block to top industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla-owned Hindalco.
The probe agency is now planning to question former coal secretary P C Parakh in connection with the allocation of Talabira-II coal block in Orissa to Hindalco despite the screening committee suggesting it for Neyveli Lignite Limited, a PSU.
Both Birla and Parakh were named by the CBI in its FIR registered last year. Rao, a Congress MP from Andhra Pradesh, was MoS (Coal) between 2004 to 2008. He along with his former coal minister Shibu Soren has been accused by Parakh in his book as those responsible for scuttling reforms in the Coal Ministry.
The agency said that Parakh’s questioning is imminent this week as the they have finished examining top executives of Birla’s company. However, no decision to summon Kumar Mangalam Birla has been taken so far.