New Delhi : The CBI on Monday told a court here that former parliamentarian Naveen Jindal, former Union minister of state for coal Dasari Narayan Rao and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda conspired to get allotted a coal block in favour of the Jindal group.

While advancing arguments on the charges, the Central Bureau of Investigation told Special Judge Bharat Parashar that Jindal, Koda, Rao and former coal secretary H C Gupta, along with other accused, hatched a criminal conspiracy to get allotted Jharkhand’s Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in its favour.

Theagency said there was sufficient evidence to frame charges against the accused in a case related to the allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to Jindal Steel and Gagan Sponge.

The CBI said Gupta and Rao facilitated the misappropriation of coal by the Jindal group.

It said that Rs 2 crore was transferred in favour of Sowbhagya Media, a company controlled by Rao, from Jindal Realty, a Jindal group company, which showed the existence of a well-planned criminal conspiracy between the private parties and the public servants involved in the coal block allocation process. Rao, however, denied the allegation and said he has no power to influence the decisions of the coal ministry.

His defence counsel told the court that Rao did not abuse his official position and he did not play any role in the allocation of the coal block.

Jindal also denied the allegation against him and sought discharge from the case. The court will continue arguments on the charges on Tuesday.

The CBI in April filed a chargesheet against Jindal, Koda, Rao and Gupta with six other individuals — New Delhi Exim director Suresh Singhal, Jindal Realty director Rajeev Jain, Gagan Sponge directors Girish Kumar Juneja and R.K. Saraf, Sowbhagya Media’s managing director, K. Ramakrishna, and chartered accountant Gyan Swaroop Garg. IANS

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