Court convicts Gondwana Ispat, director in coal scam case

PTI
Friday, 27 April 2018

Daga and the firm have been convicted under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the IPC and also for the substantive offence under section 420 of the IPC.

NEW DELHI: A special court here today held Gondwana Ispat Ltd and its director guilty of cheating and criminal conspiracy to get a coal block in Maharashtra allocated to it.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar, who was appointed exclusively to deal with the coal scam cases, directed that the firm's director Ashok Daga be taken into custody.

The firm and its director were earlier summoned as accused for misrepresenting facts to get the Majra coal block in Maharashtra allocated to it.

Daga and the firm have been convicted under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the IPC and also for the substantive offence under section 420 of the IPC.

The court has put the case for hearing on quantum of sentence at 2 pm today.

The firm was allocated the Majra coal block in 2003 and an FIR was lodged against it in 2014.

CBI had alleged in the chargesheet that it was found during the probe that Daga had made "unsubstantiated claim even towards financial preparedness and tie up regarding iron ore with Odisha government".

It had alleged that as the Ministry of Coal (MOC) then was not following any system of checking the falsity of information provided by an applicant company, M/S GIL and Daga in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy misrepresented to various government authorities and induced them to reserve or allocate the Majra coal block in their favour.

According to the CBI, on April 22, 2000, Daga applied to MoC for allotment of the Ekarjuna Extension coal block in Maharashtra for setting up a washery cum sponge iron plant of 60,000 tonne per year capacity in Warora area but it was rejected.

On September 25, 2001, Daga applied for allotment of Warora West coal block in Maharashtra for setting up 1.2 lakh tonne per annum washery cum sponge iron plant.

It said that in continuation of its earlier application, M/s GIL requested MoC to consider allotment of Majra-Belgaon coal blocks having extractable reserve of 8 to 10 million tonnes as an alternate to the Warora North coal block.

MoC, in its 18th Screening Committee meeting held on May 5, 2003, considered the application of M/s GIL and Chandrapur Ispat Ltd for allocation of Majra-Belgaon coal block.

The agency had said that based on the documents and representation submitted by the company, the ministry on October 29, 2003, reserved Majra coal block for M/s GIL subject to certain conditions regarding development of the coal block and specific end use of coal extracted from there.

CBI had claimed that during the probe it was found that though after allocation of the coal block in 2003 Daga had filed an undertaking to MOC that he will install a plant or carry out its extension and develop the coal mine, he sold off the company to Nand Kishore Sarda while earning huge profit in October 2005. 

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