CBI may soon quiz Santosh Bagrodia

The CBI’s FIR against AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd claims that the private company “misrepresented” its cross holding “in writing” to the then “Minister of Coal” — the portfolio was being handled by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh —to bag a coal block

Written by Rahul Tripathi | New Delhi | Published:September 14, 2012 1:10 am

The CBI’s FIR against AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd claims that the private company “misrepresented” its cross holding “in writing” to the then “Minister of Coal” — the portfolio was being handled by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh —to bag a coal block.

The FIR claims that in its application AMR concealed its cross holdings with Jayaswal Group,which is also under the CBI scanner. “The company misrepresented when it claimed that it was not part of the Jayaswal Group vide its letter dated 22.09.2008 addressed to the Minister of Coal,” the FIR states. The agency alleged that “despite having taken note of the earlier allocations to the group companies of AMR,public servants in the Coal Ministry in pursuance of criminal conspiracy,willfully did not take the enquiry to its logical conclusion,thus allowing undue advantage to AMR…”

Sources said former MoS for Coal Santosh Bagrodia may soon be questioned in connection with the coal block allocation scam. In its FIR,the CBI mentioned a meeting between Bagrodia and a representative of AMR in 2008. Soon after the meeting,the objections were removed and AMR was allocated a coal block at Bander in Maharashtra,said officials.

According to the FIR,“The representative of AMR attended the meeting on 18.09.2008 with the MoS for Coal in his chamber wherein it claimed that it was not part of Manoj Jayaswal’s Abhijeet Group but its equity was held by Congress MP Vijay Darda’s Lokmat Group,Abhijeet Infrastructure Ltd and IL&FS. The company admitted that it was allocated five coal blocks earlier…These facts regarding earlier allocation of coal blocks to the group/associate companies and the equity participation by IL&FS and Lokmat Group were concealed/ misrepresented by AMR Iron in its application form.” Among the directors of the firm were Devendra Darda,son of Vijay Darda,Manoj Jayaswal and his brothers Arbind and Ramesh.

Probe revealed that AMR was among the 23 firms that applied for coal blocks in Maharashtra. The 36th screening committee recommended allocation of Bander block jointly to J K Cement, Century Textiles and Industries and AMR.

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