CBI steps up investigation into coal scam; attacks WB Justice Minister Moloy Ghatak’s Asansol and Kolkata residences
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is conducting searches on the premises of the Minister of West Bengal on Wednesday Moloy Ghatak in the coal theft case, officials said.
The agency, aided by a huge contingent central paramilitary personnel, carried out searches of these properties in connection with the scam.
Agents from the Central Investigation Agency conducted raids in three houses by Mr. Ghatak in Asansol in the district of Paschim Bardhaman and one in the Lake Gardens Calcutta region. Besides Asansol, raids were underway at five slots in Calcutta.
According to the CBI, the allegations against the convicts M/s Grace Industries Ltd and Mukesh Gupta during the period between the year 2005 to 2011 in New Delhi, Maharashtra, and other places, in pursuit of the common object of the criminal conspiracy hatched with other co-defendants namely HC Gupta, K.S. Kropha and deceived by the Ministry of Coal, Government of India into dishonestly and fraudulently inducing the Ministry of Coal to allocate”East Lohara Coal Block” located in the state of Maharashtra in favor of M/s GIL based on false information about net worth, capacity, equipment and status of plant supply and facility.
CBI also said that the said company in its application claimed his net worth as 120,000,000 rupees while his own network was Rs.3.3 crore only the company falsified its existing capacity of 1,20,000 Third Party Administrators (TPA) against 30,000 TPA.
In an order dated August 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of India canceled the entire coal block allocation.
On September 20, 2012, the CBI recorded a case in the matter under Section – 120B r/w 420 IPC r/w 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988.
At the end of the investigation, a the indictment has been filed by the CBI against Grace Industries Limited and Mukesh Gupta, director of the company in the court of OOctober 28, 2014.
On August 10, 2015, the Court took cognizance of the offenses punishable under Article – 120B r/w 409/420 IPC r/w 13(2) r/w 13(1)(c) and (d) of the PC Act, 1988 and substantive offences. Accordingly, the summons was issued to the defendants for their appearance before the Court.
During the trial, a total of 34 witnesses were reviewed by the prosecution/CBI to prove his case.
“As his name surfaced in the coal smuggling scam, we need to find out what his role was in it. We have evidence from Ghatak participation in the scam,” a CBI officer told the PTI news agency.
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