THE BLACK MARK OF COAL
This is the first time that CBI has booked Congress politicians in the coal scandal. The agency registered its 12th FIR on June 10 in relation to alleged irregularities in allotment between 2006 and 2009. “The CBI searches are part of a disinformation campaign to defame me. I am a Bobbili Puli ( the title of a hit film of his) and not a Boggu ( coal) Puli,” declared Dasari, one- time journalist and prolific scriptwriter. Besides naming Dasari and Jindal in its FIR, CBI has named a media company of the exminister and four companies, apparently connected to Jindal, and searched the homes of three of its senior executives for corroborative information. It has invoked Section 120 B ( criminal conspiracy) and 420 ( cheating) of IPC and Section 13( 1) ( d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
CBI alleges that the money invested in Dasari’s venture, Sowbhagya Media, is quid pro quo for the joint allocation to JSPL and Gagan Sponge Iron of the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block, which has remained underdeveloped at Birbhum in Jharkand with an estimated capacity of over 205 million tonnes of coal. Jindal is a substantial stakeholder in Gagan Sponge Iron, according to the FIR. JSPL figures among 23 companies allotted coal blocks which have in the past two weeks been served show- cause notices as to why the allotments should not be revoked for work not having begun. The transfer of funds allegedly followed a convoluted process ( see chart).
CBI contends that JSPL and Gagan Sponge Iron purportedly made false representations of their preparedness and eligibility. This was done largely on three counts: Availability of requisite land, provision for adequate water supply to the proposed plant and concealment of previous allocations. CBI sources say the Jindal Group allegedly claimed in its application in January 2007 that it had only three coal blocks, when it had six. CBI has secured correspondence that shows Dasari had over- CBI registers FIR over irregularities in the block allotment being made on false representation of assets, land and qualification critieria set by the Power Ministry.