Press Trust of India
NEW DELHI: Enforcement Directorate (ED) today registered fresh cases under criminal provisions of money laundering laws against three companies in the coal-block allocation scam.
The three companies against whom the cases have been booked are Jayaswal Neco Industries Ltd, Raipur, and M/s Topworth Urja Metal Ltd and M/s Central Collieries Company Ltd, both based in Maharashtra’s Nagpur.
The central agency registered the cases after taking cognisance of the existing CBI FIRs against these companies in which they have been booked for alleged criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
“All three firms have been booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and will soon be issued notices for production of documents and evidence,” official sources said.
ED will specifically look into the “proceeds of crime”, if any, generated by the firms, they added.
ED has till now registered over 15 money laundering cases in the coal-block allocation scam and is probing the same alongside CBI upon directions from Supreme Court.
In its FIR, CBI had said that the Gare Palma IV/4 coal block in Mand Raigarh, Chhattisgarh, was allotted to Jayaswal Neco Industries in August, 1999, for its sponge iron plant upon the stipulation that it will wash the coal in a washery to a 20 per cent ash level and the middlings produced by washing non-coking coal for its sponge iron plant will be used in its captive power plant.
The agency had alleged that the company resorted to excess mining of nearly 5.6 lakh MT coal onwards since 2007-08 without obtaining prior permission from the Centre.
When contacted, Randhir Javery, spokesperson for the company said they have “no information on the latest ED action”.
The case against Topworth Urja pertains to Marki Mangli Coal Block-II, III and IV in Maharashtra which were allocated to the firm between 1993 and 2005.
CBI’s allegation against Central Collieries is that it sold coal in the open market against the concept of captive allocation of coal blocks for a specified end-use.
ED will soon record the statements of the officials of these companies, the sources added.