A special court in Delhi on July 1 ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for framing of charges against Naveen Jindal and four others in a coal scam case related to a coal block allocation in Madhya Pradesh.
Special judge Bharat Parashar passed the order on framing of charges against Naveen Jindal, Jindal Steel Private Limited (JSPL), and several top management of JSPL including DN Abrol (Executive Director), Vikrant Gujaral (Chief Executive Officer), Anand Goel (Joint Managing Director) and Sushil Maroo (Director Finance) for alleged “criminal conspiracy” and “cheating” the coal ministry. The accused are ordered to appear in the Delhi court on July 25.
As per the CBI allegations, JSPL procured allocation of Urtan North coking coal block on the basis of dishonest and fraudulent misrepresentation of facts in the feedback form about the actual land acquired for several projects. The probing agency accused that the JSPL had filed an application for Urtan North coal block in the “utter disregard” of the condition of the advertisement issued by the Ministry of Coal for allocation of coal block.
In its chargesheet, the CBI has alleged that the JSPL “misrepresented” the firm’s equipment purchase orders and misled the Coal Ministry.
Besides this case, Jindal and his firms are also facing CBI trail in other coal scam cases related to coal block allocations in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. In 2017, the CBI had filed a chargesheet against Jindal and 14 others including former Minister of State (Coal) late Dasari Narayana Rao, former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and former coal secretary HC Gupta in Jharkhand's Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block allocation.
In 2014, the CBI first registered a case against Jindal, his firm JSPL and unknown public officials for alleged criminal conspiracy and cheating under the IPC and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, related to Gare-Palma captive coal block in Chhattisgarh.
This case was the outcome of the CBI’s preliminary inquiry into the allocation of coal blocks during the period between 1993 and 2005.
In September 2014, Supreme Court cancelled 218 coal blocks the central government had allocated between 1993 and 2010. Of the 218 coal blocks, Jindal group had 11, of which seven were with JSPL.