CBI today registered a case against former union minister Prem Chand Gupta, a close aide of RJD Supremo Lalu Prasad, and his son for allegedly falsifying records in getting a coal block in Maharashtra. The case was registered against Gupta, who is at present a Rajya Sabha member, and his son Gaurav after the Central Vigilance Commission agreed with CBI that a case was made out, official sources said.
This is the 24th FIR registered by the agency in connection with the coal blocks allocation scam being monitored by the Supreme Court. The allegation is that the company had allegedly falsified records to the government that it had spent Rs 100 crore on power plants but a close scrutiny of the papers of the company showed that only Rs 80 crore had been spent, the sources said.
The company is alleged to have falsified the records to meet the basic requirement for getting a coal block, the sources said. Efforts to reach Gupta for his reaction did not fructify as he was on a pilgrimage and his residence in Delhi refused to share his mobile number. According to the FIR, the the company in question was IST Steel and Power - an associate company of the IST Group which is owned and run by Gupta's sons Mayur and Gaurav. IST Steel was allocated the Dahegaon/Makardhokra IV block in Maharashtra. The company had applied for a block on January 12, 2007 and was awarded on June 17, 2009.
Gupta, who belongs to Rashtriya Janata Dal, was the Minister of State for Corporate Affairs in UPA-I.