In a major embarrassment to the Congress,its MP Naveen Jindal and former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao have been accused of alleged cheating and graft by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in its fresh FIR in the coal scam.
After registering the 12th FIR in coal block allocation scam probe,CBI sources said the agency today carried out searches at 15 locations including residence and offices of Jindal in the national capital and Rao in Hyderabad.
The agency team carried out coordinated searches at the 6-Prithviraj Road residence of Jindal and offices of his firms in Bikaji Cama place.
Besides Jindal and Rao,CBI has also booked companies Jindal Steel and Power Limited and Gagan Sponge which were allotted Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Birbhum,Jharkhand in the year 2008.
The agency also booked Jindal’s companies Jindal Realty and ND Exim and Rao’s company Saubhagya Media.
The agency has accused Jindal,Rao and the companies of alleged criminal conspiracy,cheating and relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Rao,a former Congress Rajya Sabha MP,held position of Minister of state for Coal between 2004-06 and between 2006 and 2008. He has already been quizzed by the agency in connection with the probe in coal block allocation scam.
Reacting to the development,Head of External Affairs,Jindal Steel and Power Limited,Manu Kapoor said,”JSPL,as a law abiding company,is governed by a strong ethical code of conduct. This is an ongoing CBI investigation into coal block allocation. At this stage of investigation,JSPL is committed to fully cooperate with CBI.”
BJP Spokesperson Prakash Javdekar termed the action of agency too little too later and demanded that action should not be limited to searches alone.