Free Press Journal

Nagpur-based co conspired with Darda to cheat Coal Min: CBI


New Delhi: Director of Nagpur-based AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, Manoj Jayaswal, had allegedly conspired with Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda and his son Devendra Darda to cheat the Coal Ministry in obtaining coal blocks, CBI has claimed in its charge sheet filed before a special court here.

The agency has arraigned Jayaswal, Vijay Darda and Devendra as accused in the charge sheet along with the firm AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd. The three accused, along with an authorised representative of the company, today appeared before Special CBI Judge Madhu Jain in response to the summons issued against them.

“The facts, circumstances and evidence prime facie disclose that Manoj Jayaswal, in criminal conspiracy with Vijay Darda, Devendra Darda, Managing Director, Lokmat Media Pvt Ltd and AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd (through its director Manoj Jayaswal) have cheated the Ministry of Coal by dishonestly obtaining allocation of Bander coal block,” CBI said in its charge sheet filed against them.

“Further in pursuant to the said criminal conspiracy, Manoj Jayaswal had paid an amount of of Rs 24.6 crores to the

 company owned by Vijay Darda for exercising personal influence,” it claimed.

“Thus, Manoj Jayaswal, Vijay Darda, Devendra Darda and AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd had committed offences punishable under sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) of IPC and section 9 of Prevention of Corruption Act against Vijay Darda,” the charge sheet said.

“Vijay Darda had submitted three representations for allocation of Bander coal block to AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd. In the said representations, it was wrongly submitted by Darda that the company was promoted by Lokmat Group (family business company of Vijay Darda), since as per the records Lokmat group was not associated with the said company,” CBI claimed.

The charge sheet also said AMR Iron and Steel had on December 7, 2007 made a representation before the 36th screening committee through its representative Devendra Darda and others.

“The evidence collected during investigation reveals that Devendra Darda had made the presentation. At the time of presentation, the companies were also required to submit a form for feedback giving the present status of the project for which the allocation of the coal block is sought.

“Accordingly, AMR Iron and steel had also submitted the form of feedback at the time of presentation. The said form was submitted under the signatures of Devendra Darda, who had signed as Director. However, as per the records, Devendra Darda was never a Director to the said company,” it alleged.

CBI, in its FIR lodged earlier, had named AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, its directors Arvind Kumar Jayaswal, Manoj Jayaswal, Ramesh Jayaswal and Devendra Darda, along with unnamed officials of the Coal Ministry and other unidentified persons as accused in the case.

Regarding AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, CBI had claimed in its FIR that the firm, in its application form for allocation of coal blocks, had “fraudulently” concealed the fact that its group companies had previously been allocated five coal blocks.

Detailing the allocation of coal blocks to AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, the agency had said the Ministry of Coal invited applications for allocation of coal blocks, including Bander coal block in Maharashtra having geological reserve of 126.105 million metric tonnes (MMT).