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Inferior coal import scam: CBI registers two cases for alleged cheating of import and supply of low quality coal

Saturday, 4 January 2014 - 7:23pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

CBI has registered two cases of cheating for alleged import and supply of low quality coal from Indonesia to National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and NTPC-SAIL Power Corporation Ltd (NSPCL) resulting in losses of Rs 116.07 crore.

In the first case which resulted in loss of Rs 23.16 crore to NTPC, the agency has registered an FIR against A K Srivastava, Additional General Manager, Uma Shankar Verma, Deputy Manager, NTPC power plant Lab, Indore-based Bhatia International presently known as Asian Natural Resources Ltd.

The agency has also named international companies Singapore-based Bhatia International Pte Limited, Jakarta-based PT Mitra S K Analisa Testama, its Indian subsidiary S K Mitra Pvt Limited based in Kolkata and its chemist Chandra Prakash Yadav for alleged criminal conspiracy to cheat the PSU.

"It is alleged that the accused persons during the period 2011-13 entered into criminal conspiracy with an intention to cheat NTPC. In pursuance of the said criminal conspiracy, inferior quality non-cooking coal of Indonesian origin, shown to be of good quality on papers, was purchased from Indonesia by Singapore based company, overseas supplier and sister concern of Indore based group of companies," CBI spokesperson said here today.

The CBI has alleged that inferior quality coal was brought to India through sea-route through different bill of entries having gross calorific value which was far less than technical specifications of the agreement.

The coal which should have been rejected was supplied to NTPC power plant at Unchahar, which has resulted in a wrongful loss of Rs 23.16 crore.

Emails seeking reactions from the named companies remained unanswered.

The accused companies used a similar modus operandi with NSPCL power plant in Bhilai in alleged criminal conspiracy with its officials to cheat the public sector undertaking of Rs 92.91 crore.

In this case, CBI has registered a case of criminal conspiracy to cheat and under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act against PC Gupta Senior Manager, Head of NSPCL Power Plant Lab, Bhilai, AV Ramesh, chemist at the laboratories and chemist and branch head of Mumbai-based Geochem private laboratories.

"In pursuance of the said criminal conspiracy, inferior quality non-cooking coal of Indonesian origin, shown to be of good quality on papers, was purchased from Indonesia by Singapore based company, overseas supplier and sister concern of Indore based group of companies," CBI spokesperson said.

The supply of this lower grade coal has wrongful loss of Rs 92.91 crore to NSPCL, the official said.

Soon after registering cases, CBI carried out searches at the offices and residential premises of NTPC and NSPCL officials named in the FIR besides various premises of Bhatia International and Grochem.


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