In a new twist to the coal scam case in which a special court today said industrialist Naveen Jindal was the “central figure” in the entire criminal conspiracy, a chartered accountant working for Jindal Group has offered to turn as an approver to make disclosures.
Special CBI judge Bharat Parashar said it would hear on May 11 the plea of accused Suresh Singhal, also director of New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd, who had moved an application on April 21 seeking pardon and to make disclosure statement in the case.
Singhal’s disclosure statement was later on recorded by a magistrate and placed before the special judge in a sealed envelope.
During the day, the special court ordered framing of charges against Jindal, former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao, ex-Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda and 12 others for criminal conspiracy, cheating and other offences in Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block allocation scam case.
“In the over all facts and circumstances of the case, I however direct that for the time being copy of applications moved by Suresh Singhal along with the order sheets recorded by the court may be supplied to counsel for accused persons as it will be appropriate to first adjudicate upon the present issue before proceeding to frame charges formally against the accused persons,” the judge, who has already issued notice to CBI and 14 other accused, said.
In his plea, Singhal has claimed that co-accused Rajeev Jain, Director of Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, had purchased NDEPL at the instruction of Sushil Maroo also working with the Naveen Jindal Group.
“I was also in practice of selling companies. Rajeev Jain had been purchasing different types of companies from me. I also sold New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd to him. I also handed over all the papers required by him for the purpose of transfer of ownership and management, documentary evidence of which forms part of the records…
“Rajeev Jain in conspiracy with Maroo kept me in dark and didn’t disclose their real purpose. After getting all the transfer papers from me they kept the shares and directors change pending taking the advantage of my good faith which I had for them,” he claimed.
He further claimed that decision to invest and pay Rs 2 crore to Sowbhagya Media Ltd, allegedly promoted by co-accused and former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayana Rao, was carried out at their behest.
“After 3-4 days they (Jain and Maroo) again approached me to execute a specific transaction i.e payment of Rs 2 crores to Sowbhagya Media Ltd. I advised them to get the same at their end. As the directors were not changed at that time and similarly bank signatories were also not changed, I was again requested to get the same done at my end…,” he alleged.
“As there were no grounds to doubt, I simply relied and issued the cheques without any intention of financial benefit. So this has not been my decision to invest with Sowbhagya Media Ltd. In fact this has been the decision taken by Sushil Maroo and at his instruction executed by Rajeev Jain.
“Sushil Maroo instructed Jain in my presence to execute the transaction of the subject payment of Rs 2 crores. I only came to know about the real nature of payment at a very later stage. Despite my repeated requests, the directorship and shareholding was not changed by Jain and Maroo. And thereafter I was forced to keep my mouth shut otherwise I may face dire consequences,” Singhal claimed in his plea.