Fresh FIR in coal blocks case

May 10, 2014 - 3:08:53 am

New Delhi: A fresh FIR has been registered in the coal blocks allocation case against a Mumbai-based company, its director and some other unidentified people, an official said yesterday.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered the first information report (FIR) against the director and other officials of Top Worth Urja and Metal Limited (formerly known as Shree Virangana Steels Limited).

The case relates to the coal blocks allocation during 1993-2005.

Top Worth’s director Surendra Lodha, another director Omprakash Nevatia and other unidentified people have been booked under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

“It has been alleged the Marki Mangli II, III and IV coal blocks were allocated to the Nagpur-based private company Shree Virangana Steels Limited, which no longer exists,” said a CBI official.

The original owners of Shree Virangana Steels Limited disposed off their equity in the company between 2006 and 2008 to people belonging to the Mumbai-based Top Worth group.

Subsequently, the name of Shree Virangana Steels Limited was changed to that of the Mumbai-based company.

“It was further alleged Top Worth group irregularly and purposefully entered into mining lease deeds in the name of Shree Virangana because the coal ministry did give approval to change its name.

“Although fully aware the shareholding pattern of the company had changed between 2006 and 2008, the fact of change in the shareholding was allegedly concealed in the affidavit sworn by the director of the company,” said the Official.

According to the official, the company also allegedly resorted to excessive mining, without augmenting the capacity of its existing sponge iron plant that consumed the coal in their sponge iron unit and also a substantial part in its 30 MW captive power plant. Raids have been conducted at six locations in Nagpur, Yavatmal and Mumbai.

Meanwhile, in a setback to West Bengal government, the Supreme court yesterday handed over investigation into Saradha chit fund scam to the CBI.

The court also asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate ponzi scheme scams in Odisha.

The apex court bench headed by Justice T S Thakur said that the investigating agency will also look into any other ponzi scheme involved in chit fund scam in West Bengal, besides Saradha.

Handing over the investigation to the CBI, the court said that the investigation by the West Bengal Police did not make any headway in inter-state ramification of the scam.IANS

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