The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is preparing to register fresh cases against three private firms based in Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Delhi as part of its investigations into the Coalgate scam. The agency, sources said, is expected to register cases in a day or two.
“The ED will register cases on the basis of recent FIRs filed by the CBI against three private firms, including a Maharashtra-based ayurvedic medicine manufacturer,” sources said. Besides, the ED will also register a case against a Delhi-based private firm for the alleged irregularities in the allocation of “Hutar Sector”, Hurilong captive coal block in Jharkhand. The CBI has so far registered around 45 cases since September 2012 in its probe allocation of coal blocks between 1993 to 2011.
On Maharashtra-based ayurvedic medicine manufacturer firm, sources said, “The ED is scrutinising documents pertaining to the allocation of Bhandak (West) captive coal block in Wardha Valley in Maharashtra in this regard.” Initial investigations have revealed that the private firm was not engaged in the business of production of steel, cement and power during the application.
Besides, it has also been found that the suspected officials of the coal ministry never verified the application form of the firm, sources said.
The CBI has already booked promoters of the firm and unknown officials of the coal ministry under the relevant sections of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act in this regard, they added.
The allocation of coal blocks to private companies for captive use started in 1993 when Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973 was amended with the objective of attracting private investments in specified end uses such as power, cement and steel to meet the requirements of the growing economy.