Manmohan Responsible for Coal Block Allocation: Dasari

Former Union Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao on Friday told a local court that the decision on allocating Jharkhand’s Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to two firms were taken by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal, Dasari, former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and seven others were on Friday granted bail by a special court in a coal block allocation scam case.

Jindal, Dasari, Koda, former Coal Secretary Harish Chandra Gupta and others appeared as accused before the court and moved separate pleas seeking bail.

Dasari, while seeking bail in the case said that it was Manmohan, who had decided to allocate Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to Jindal Steel and Gagan Sponge firms.

And former MOS’ counsel told Special Judge Bharat Parashar that Manmohan had held the Coal portfolio when the decision to allocate  the coal block to Jindal’s firms was taken.

The counsel said his client had nothing to do with the allocation of coal blocks and as Minister of State for Coal at the time, he only forwarded the notes.

The CBI in its chargesheet had said that Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block allocation was recommended by the 35th screening committee. “It was alleged that two steel and iron companies based in Delhi misrepresented facts to get coal blocks. Also, there was alleged investment in a Hyderabad-based firm from the group of companies based in Delhi,” said a CBI official.

Dasari was the Union Minister of State for Coal between 2006 and 2009 when the irregularities allegedly took place.

During the arguments, senior counsel Ramesh Gupta, appearing for Jindal, told the court that his client had joined the investigation as and when called by the CBI and there was no apprehension that he would abscond or flee from justice.

 

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