CBI registers FIRs against two firms in coal allocation

Ahead of Supreme Court hearing in coal block allocation case on Thursday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday registered two more FIRs and named BJP leader Anup Agarwalla and his firm in one of the FIRs. This is the first case registered by agency in connection with the alleged irregularities in coal blocks allocation between 1993-2005, where the member of the opposition party has been named.

The companies which have been named includes, BLA Industries Ltd, its managing director Anup Agarwalla and others. In its second FIR, the agency named Castron Technologies, Castron Mining, their directors and others. Soon after registering the FIR, the agency carried out searches at nine location including Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Dhanbad, Bhopal and Narsinghpur in Madhya Pradesh.

Anup Agarwalla is the son of former Rajya Sabha MP PK Agarwalla, and is also the permanent invitee to Jharkhand State Working Committee of BJP and special invitee to party's national executive. In its FIR, the agency has alleged that BLA Industries, which has its registered office in Mumbai, got two coal blocks in Madhya Pradesh and was selling coal in the open market.

The worth of coal being sold in open market was at nearly Rs 100 crore annually. The firm was allocated two coal blocks Gotitoria (East) and Gotitoria (West) in Mahapani coalfields of Madhya Pradesh in 1996 for use in power plant to be set up by them.

The CBI has further alleged that the company entered into an alleged criminal conspiracy with unknown officials of the coal ministry and changed its end-use. They later got permission to sell coal from the fields in the open market from the ministry between 2003-04.

According to the CBI, the firm got coal blocks on June 21, 1996, during the tenure of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda.

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