Ex-union minister, Koda conspired to allot coal block to Jindal: CBI

New Delhi, Nov 2 (IANS) The CBI on Monday told a court here that former parliamentarian Naveen Jindal, former union minister of state for coal Dasari Narayan Rao and former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda conspired to get allotted a coal block in favour of the Jindal group.

While advancing arguments on charges, the Central Bureau of Investigation told Special Judge Bharat Parashar that Jindal, Koda, Rao, former coal secretary H.C. Gupta along with other accused hatched a criminal conspiracy to get allotted Jharkhand’s Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in its favour.

The probe agency said there was sufficient evidence to frame charges against the accused in a case related to the allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to Jindal Steel and Gagan Sponge.

The CBI said Gupta and Rao facilitated misappropriation of coal by the Jindal group.

It said that Rs.2 crore was transferred in favour of Sowbhagya Media, a company controlled by Rao, from Jindal Realty, a Jindal group company, which showed the existence of a well-planned criminal conspiracy between the private parties and the public servants involved in the coal block allocation process.

Rao, however, denied the allegation and said he has no power to influence the decisions of the coal ministry.

His defence counsel told the court that Rao did not abuse his official position and he did not play any role in the allocation of the coal block.

Jindal also denied the allegation against him and sought discharge from the case.

The court will continue arguments on charges on Tuesday.

The CBI in April filed a chargesheet against Jindal, Koda, Rao, Gupta with six other individuals — New Delhi Exim director Suresh Singhal, Jindal Realty director Rajeev Jain, Gagan Sponge directors Girish Kumar Juneja and R.K. Saraf, Sowbhagya Media’s managing director K. Ramakrishna and chartered accountant Gyan Swaroop Garg.

Five private companies — four based in Delhi and one in Hyderabad — have also been named in the chargesheet.

The companies are Jindal Steel and Power Ltd., Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt. Ltd., Jindal Reality Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi Exim Pvt. Ltd. and Sowbhagya Media Ltd.

The CBI has formally charged them with criminal conspiracy, cheating and various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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