ED charges Naveen Jindal, others in coal blocks allocation case

An ED official said that the chargesheet, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, covers Jindal, JSPL, Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt. Ltd. (GSIPL), now known as Gagan Infraenergy Ltd. (GIL), and 12 others.

The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday said it has filed a chargesheet against industrialist Naveen Jindal, a former Lok Sabha MP, his company Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL), and others for money laundering in its probe into the coal block allocation case.

An ED official said that the chargesheet, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, covers Jindal, JSPL, Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt. Ltd. (GSIPL), now known as Gagan Infraenergy Ltd. (GIL), and 12 others.

The chargesheet also names JSPL’s then adviser Anand Goel, Nihar Stocks director B.S.N. Suryanarayan and Mumbai’s Essar Power’s Executive vice-chairman Sushil Kumar Maroo, JSPL’s deputy manager (finance) Siddharth Madra and deputy general manager Rajeev Aggarwal, Sowbhagya Media, New Delhi Exim Pvt. Ltd., Jindal Reality, Nihar Stocks, K. Ramakrishna Prasad, Rajeev Jain and Gyan Swaroop Garg.

The official said the investigation revealed that in pursuance of an advertisement of the Coal Ministry on November 13, 2006, both JSPL and GSIPL submitted applications in January 2007 for allocation of the coal block situated at Amarkonda-Murgadangal in Jharkhand for the proposed 1,000 MW power plants.

“The investigation revealed that the Power Ministry did not recommend the allocation of Amarkonda-Murgadangal coal block to Jindal Group. Even the Jharkhand government initially recommended allocation of this block to three companies — Lanco Infratech Ltd (40%), JSPL (30%) and GSIPL (30%). Later, the Jharkhand government changed its recommendation in favour of JSPL (70%) and GSIPL (30%),” the official said.

Investigation also revealed that JSPL also misrepresented the fact related to previous allocations of coal blocks to their group companies, the official added.

The chargesheet said that Late Dasari Narayana Rao, the then-Minister of State for Coal, wrote a favourable note dated July 27, 2007 to the Coal Secretary, the Chairman of the 35th Screening Committee. This was despite the two companies not being recommended by the Ministry of Power on account of their poor preparedness.

“Soon after the allocation in favour of Jindal Group, an amount of ₹2 crore was invested as quid pro quo by New Delhi Exim Pvt. Ltd, a shell company created by Suresh Singhal on the instruction of Director of the Jindal Group, in Sowbhagya Media Ltd., a company controlled by Rao,” the official said.

It was found that the said investment was a payoff and quid pro quo by the Jindal Group to then MoS Coal, the official added.

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