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Coal-gate: FIRs against 2 companies; crackdown in several cities

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed First Information Reports or FIRs against two private firms for alleged forgery and cheating in connection with its probe in the coal block allocation controversy.  Searches are also being conducted in 16 premises belonging to these companies in Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Vishakhapatnam, Satna, Jaipur, Rourkela and New Delhi.

The fresh FIRs have been filed against Athena Infrastructure (earlier known as Green Infrastructure) and Kamal Sponge & Steel on charges which also include misrepresentation of net worth.

The new cases pertain to coal block allocation during 2006-09 in which the CBI had earlier registered seven FIRs in connection with the probe. The CBI is investigating whether companies misreported their financial or technical qualifications to be granted valuable coal fields in possible collusion with government officials.

The CBI’s inquiry is rooted in a complaint filed by BJP leader Prakash Javadekar with the government’s anti-graft department or Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

In August, the government auditor or CAG had said that 142 coal fields allocated between 2004 and 2009 had allowed private firms to get windfall benefits of upto Rs. 1.86 lakh crore because the coal mines were sold at highly undervalued rates, instead of being auctioned. That had led to a huge political crisis with the opposition BJP demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister and disrupting Parliament every day of the Monsoon session.

SOURCE : NDTV

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