CBI files two new cases in coal scam (Third Lead)

New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Wednesday lodged new complaints against two companies over the alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks, an official said here.

The CBI has named Castron Technologies Ltd. and Castron Mining, and BLA Industries Pvt. Ltd., the managing director of BLA Industries, and some public and private officials in the first information reports (FIRs).
The investigating agency registered the two separate cases against these two under section 120 B, criminal conspiracy, 420 and cheating of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and various sections of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act.
The first case has been registered against the Mumbai-based company, BLA Industries Pvt. Ltd., its managing director, some unknown public servants and private persons.
The second case is against Jharkhand and Kolkata-based Castron Technologies Ltd. and Castron Mining. Its directors, unknown public servants and private persons have also been named in the FIR.
“The allegations are that undeserving companies were allocated coal blocks. BLA Industries was permitted to sell coal in the open market against the principle of captive mining,” an official said.
The formal complaints will be followed up with investigations and court cases later. The probe is being conducted into coal block allocations during the period 1993-2005.
A preliminary inquiry to examine the alleged irregularities in allocation of coal blocks during the period 1993-2005 was registered on reference from the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in September 2012. These are the first two cases in this preliminary inquiry.
The CBI has so far registered 16 FIRs to probe allocations made between 2006 and 2009.
The new FIRs are likely to bring some cheer to the embattled United Progressive Alliance government, which has faced a consistent attack from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the indiscriminate allocation of captive coal blocks to private and public sector companies.
Now, it can hit back at the BJP for similar wrongdoing. CBI sources said the National Democratic Alliance’s Dilip Ray and Karia Munda were coal ministers when the coal blocks were allotted to Castron Technologies and BLA Industries.
Searches were also being conducted in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Madhya Pradesh’s Narsinghpur along with Delhi and Bhopal, officials said.
In October last year, the CBI registered a case against former coal secretary P.C. Parekh and industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla, as a representative of Hindalco, a flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group.