Coal Scam: Naveen Jindal faces CBI grilling

Naveen JindalCongress MP Naveen Jindal. (Reuters)

Congress MP Naveen Jindal, who is likely to be quizzed by CBI which was has named him as an accused in its latest FIR in connection with coal scam, is expected to return from abroad only by month end.

CBI sources said they had asked for his early return from abroad so that the agency could complete its search at his residence but it has been communicated to them that Jindal is likely to return in the last week of the month and only then he would be available for questioning.

During searches, CBI was unable to complete its operation at Jindal's 6-Prithviraj Road residence here as some of the cupboards and almirahs were locked and it was told that they could only be unlocked by Jindal who was abroad.

CBI sources said today that the search team had no option but to seal these cupboards and wait for the return of Jindal.

They said Jindal along with former Minister of State for Coal D Narayan Rao were booked for alleged cheating and graft in the latest FIR registered by the agency.

The sources said JSPL and Gagan Sponge Iron Limited, also a firm belonging to Jindal, had bagged Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Birbhum in Jharkhand in 2008 by alleged misrepresentation of facts when Rao was the Minister of State for Coal.

Within a year, a block was allocated to JSPL in January 2008, CBI sources claimed, noting that shares of Rao's firm Saubhagya Media listed at Rs 28 that time were purchased by one of Jindal's firm New Delhi Exim Limited at a whopping Rs 100 per share with total investment of nearly Rs 2.25 crore which is alleged to be illegal gratification.

Reacting to the development, Head of External Affairs, JSPL, Manu Kapoor had said, "JSPL, as a law abiding company, is governed by a strong ethical code of conduct. This is an ongoing CBI investigation into coal block allocation. At this stage of investigation, JSPL is committed to fully cooperate with CBI."

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