Coal scam: CBI closes case pertaining to 1998 allotment of Kilhoni block – Times of India

NEW DELHI: After a nearly four-year probe, the CBI has filed a closure report in a case related to alleged irregularities in the allotment of Kilhoni coal block in Maharashtra to Nippon Denro Ispat Limited in 1998, officials said on Tuesday.
The agency had started the preliminary inquiry on the directions of the central vigilance commission in 2012 where a complaint was filed by then Congress MP Sandeep Dikshit and six other then MPs alleging irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks during the period 1993–2005.
On the basis of findings of its inquiry, the agency had deemed it fit to convert it into an FIR.
However after four years of probe, the CBI has filed a closure report before a special court on December 23, 2023 as it did not find enough evidence to file a charge sheet.
The CBI inquiry had “revealed” that at the 13th meeting of the screening committee on August 24, 1988 it was decided to allocate Kilhoni block to NDIL and include the block in the list of blocks for captive mining.
The agency alleged that the notification issued by the coal ministry in this regard was “neither in conformance” with the guidelines for coal mining by associated coal companies “nor with the allocation letter issued to NDIL”.
“Even the coal ministry officials had not mentioned the name of NDIL in the issued notification, although the coal block has been allocated to NDIL by the screening committee.
“Also the Kilhoni Block was not in the list of identified coal blocks for captive mining and the apex committee of CIL did not agree for allocation of this block to NDIL,” the FIR had alleged.
“The 12th Screening Committee had not agreed for allocation of Kilhoni Block, Maharashtra to NDIL even then 13th SC allocated it to NDIL even though the block was included in the list of blocks for captive mining,” it had alleged.
“The…information discloses that Nippon Denro Ispat Ltd along with unidentified public servants in a criminal conspiracy cheated the Government of India and committed offenses punishable under 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) and…Prevention of Corruption Act,” the FIR had alleged.

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