The Karnataka power corporation limited’s (KPCL) decision to pay a hefty penalty after the Supreme Court ruling on coal mining scamcame in 2014, has been claimed by the BJP as a decision spurred upon by kickbacks and bribes received by chief minister Siddaramaiah and energy minister D K Shivakumar.
The BJP today accused Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Power Minister D K Shivakumar of being involved in a “mega scam” of about Rs. 447 crore relating to the state-owned Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL), a charge the Congress refuted as “baseless“.
State BJP president B S Yeddyurappa told reporters in Bengaluru that KPCL paid a penalty of Rs. 447 crore to the Centre for re-allotment of a coal block despite it having no such liability, following the coal scam verdict of the Supreme Court in August, 2014.
“We charge both of them with receiving kickbacks for making this payment,” he said and demanded a CBI probe.
Rejecting the charge, the state power minister said in New Delhi, “Yeddyurappa is misleading the public…This will boomerang (on the party). We are ready for any kind of probe and even a public debate on the issue.”
“The decision to pay the penalty to the central government was taken in the interest of the state and not for personal gain,” he told reporters in the national capital.
The amount was paid to ensure reallocation of the Baranj coal block in Maharashtra for the smooth supply of coal to power units in the state, he added.
KPCL in early 2002, formed a joint venture company with EMTA for mining of coal blocks allotted to government of Karnataka.
As per the structure of arrangement, while the coal blocks were allocated in the name of KPCL, the lease was drawn out in favour of EMTA.
The KECML was formed to ensure that both the partners are in the project together, with KPCL as the final beneficiary while EMTA is the developer.
However, in September 2014, the SC delivered the verdict in the coal mines scam and cancelled coal block allocations across the country. One among them was the Baranj coal fields which was allotted to KPCL and managed by KECML.
The SC in another order, issued in 2014, also levelled a penalty of Rs 295 per MT of coal extracted on all the companies which were facing charges in the case.
Subsequently, BJP claims that the collector of Chandrapur, in Maharashtra, via written communication, asked for EMTA to pay Rs 417, 95, 99 332.
However, the company redirected the collector to seek the penalty from KPCL. On the penultimate day of paying the fine, KPCL held KECML responsible for the penalty to paid. But within 24 hours, said it will itself pay portion of the penalty, Rs 110 crore, as the KPCL is a partner in the firm.