CBI searches offices, houses of 3 coal scam accused

Written by fe Bureau | Jamshedpur | Updated: Jul 31 2010, 06:33am hrs
The CBI on Friday searched the offices and residences of three Ranchi-based businessmen who have allegedly been drawing coal from Central Coalfields (CCL) on the basis of coal linkage given to them but were selling the coal quotas allotted to them in the open market and thus earning huge profits.

Speaking to FE from Ranchi, CBI superintendent of police R C Chaudhary said the CBI had on the basis of information collected by the agency over a period of time filed an FIR for the first time on May 12, 2010 and todays searches, the second in the series, on the three new accused, was a continuation of the same case.

The CBI said it searched the offices and residences in Ranchi today of Vijay Dhanuka, Gopal Kumar Singh and Kansi Kejriwal and seized incriminating documents from their places.

Earlier, on June 4, 2010, the agency had conducted a search at eight places in connection with the coal linkage scam, which included the factory premises of Gyan Enterprises (Jagdishpur, Arah, Bihar), S R Enterprises (Jagdishpur, Arah, Bihar), Indica Smokeless Fuel Ltd (Jagdishpur, Arah, Bihar), the residential premises of Upendra Pratap Singh (Jagdishpur, Bhojpur, Bihar), Mritunjay Prasad Singh (Ashiana Nagar, Patna) and the office and residence of V V Sahay, chief general manager, sales, Darbhanga House, Ranchi.

Todays three accused and those on whom the earlier search was conducted (on June 4) are all linked in some way or the other," said the CBI SP.

The accused were said to have been drawing 35,000 metric tonne and above coal from CCL at a fixed concessional rate of around Rs 1,200 per tonne and selling the linkage quota in the open market where it was fetching them between Rs 2,000-Rs 2,400 a tonne.

Asked what loss they had inflicted so far on CCL, Chaudhary said that till around 10 days before the FIR was lodged against all the accused on May 12, 2010, the parties had been allotted 95, 950.85 metric tonne of coal, which worked out to a loss of around Rs 7.67 crore to CCL.

The idea is to somehow manage a (coal) linkage by paying up people and then become a king," is how the CBI SP summed up the coal-linkage scam unraveled by it so far, adding that the agency was unearthing newer people linked to the scam as its investigations progressed.

The system of coal linkage to industry through CILs subsidiaries has been in place for several years now.