New Delhi, In a massive expose, the CBI has unearthed a Rs 20 crore worth scam by a private coal company in Chhattisgarh involving the former Chairman and Managing Director of South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL).
The accused company ‘Aryan Coal Benefication Pvt Ltd’ sold stolen coal worth more than Rs 20 crore in a mere four months allegedly due to its connivance at the top level, said sources.
Surprisingly, in 2004 the CBI had given a clean chit to ‘Aryan Coal’ surpassing its own DIG Sudhir Mishra’s complaints in this regard.
The case was handed over to the CBI in 2003 by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi.
It took nearly six years to unravel the scam, involving the company which was in the business of transporting coal for the last 15 years, said sources adding that in 2004 Coal India Ltd’s (CIL) Chief Vigilance Officer Shashi Prakash while raising doubt over CBI’s investigation has conceded that ”CIL had surrendered before ‘Aryan Coal’.” After conducting raids on the company at its officials, the CBI registered a case against the company’s Managing Director G C Mrig – the former Chairman and Managing Director of South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL), according to sources.
An FIR has also been lodged against two of its other directors — Rudrasen Sindhu and Veersen Sindhu, besides officials of Rajasthan State Electricity Board and various Ex-Servicemen Transport companies.
The September 9 raids were conducted on two coal washing units of ‘Aryan Coal’ in Korba, the residences of the company’s directors, its field office in Bilaspur and corporate office in Gurgaon in Haryana.
The Prime Minister, who also looks after the Ministry of Coal, had set a six-member committee under Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lallan to look into the scam which after investigations found that ‘Aryan Coal’ would pilfer around 20,000 tonnes of high-grade coal per day from Deepika-Gevera mines alone.
It was also found that ‘Aryan Coal’ has set up 30 megawatt capacity electricity project in Chakabura Washery so that the stolen coal could be consumed within and save itself from the trouble and risk of selling it in the outside market.
SECL is India’s largest coal producing company and is one of the eight subsidiaries of Coal India Limited, a Government of India Undertaking under the Ministry of Coal.
Investigations into the case were still on.