Court asks CBI to further probe a coal scam case

New Delhi: A Special Court here today directed the CBI to further investigate an alleged scam in coal block allocation, involving Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda and others, in which the agency had filed a closure report.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar asked the CBI to file a progress report of its probe on December 19. "Vide my separate detailed order, the matter has been sent for further investigation," the judge said.CBI had filed the closure report in the case in which it had earlier registered an FIR 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 an FIR in the case against six individuals, the firm and unknown persons under sections 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC. The agency, however, had later on filed a closure report in the case, saying that no undue benefit was given to M/s JLD Yavatmal Energy Ltd by the Coal Ministry in allocation of coal blocks to it.

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 JLD Yavatmal Energy Ltd's directors.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 for getting the coal blocks.

The report had said that investigation could not establish that JLD Yavatmal Energy Ltd has obtained any undue benefit from the Ministry of Coal with regard to its non-declaration of previous coal blocks.

During the hearing on the closure report, the CBI prosecutor had earlier submitted before the court that Vijay Darda had written several letters to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and others for allocation of coal block to JLD Yavatmal Energy Ltd.

The CBI's investigating officer had also told the court that the government of Chattisgarh, where the Fatehpur East Coal Block was situated, had not recommended coal block to JLD Yavatmal Energy Ltd.

CBI in its closure report had revealed 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 of the fact that allocation of earlier coal blocks either to the applicant company or group or associate company would be a disqualification for 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 at Chhattisgarh to JLD along with RKM Powergen, Visa Power Ltd, Green Infrastructure and Vandana Vidyut.

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