Naveen Jindal, others summoned as accused in Coalscam money laundering case

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New Delhi, Aug 14 (PTI): Industrialist and Congress leader Naveen Jindal along with 14 others was on Tuesday summoned as accused by a Delhi court for alleged money laundering in a case pertaining to irregularities in allocation of a Jharkhand coal block.

Special Judge Bharat Parashar directed them to appear in the court on October 15, saying that prima facie there was enough evidence to summon them as accused.

“In view of the averments made in the complaint (ED’s charge sheet), I take cognisance of the offence under section 3 (money laundering) punishable under section 4 (punishment for money laundering) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against all the fifteen accused persons,” the judge said.

Besides Jindal, those summoned as accused include Jindal Steel and Power Ltd’s then adviser Anand Goel, Mumbai’s Essar Power Ltd’s Executive Vice-Chairman Sushil Kumar Maroo, Nihar Stocks Ltd’s Director BSN Suryanarayan, Mumbai-based KE International’s Chief Financial Officer Rajeev Aggarwal and Gurgaon-based Green Infra’s Vice-President Siddharth Madra.

Those arrayed as accused also include K Ramakrishna Prasad, Rajiv Jain and Gyan Swaroop Garg as well as six companies — JSPL, Gagan Sponge Iron Ltd, Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd, Sowbhagya Media Ltd and Nihar Stocks Ltd.

The case, filed under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) pertains to the allocation of the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand.

In its charge sheet filed through special public prosecutor N K Matta and advocate Tarannum Cheema, the ED alleged that Jindal’s firm — JSPL — along with others had influenced the screening committee to allot the coal block by investing more than Rs two crore in illegal gratification.

In another case filed by the CBI in relation to the present matter, the court had in April 2016 ordered framing of charges against Jindal, former MoS for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao (since deceased), former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, then Coal Secretary H C Gupta and 11 others for the alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, criminal breach of trust under the IPC and sections of Prevention of Corruption Act in the case.

The court later also framed an additional charge of abetment of bribery against Jindal.

In the same case, the court also ordered invoking section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) against Jindal Steel’s then adviser Anand Goel, Nihar Stocks Ltd Director BSN Suryanarayan and Mumbai’s Essar Power Ltd Executive Vice-Chairman Sushil Kumar Maroo.

All the accused have denied the allegations levelled against them and said there was no evidence to show that there was any conspiracy during the coal block allocation process.

The ED had registered a case based on the FIR filed by the CBI.

The CBI has filed another charge sheet against Jindal and others, including Goel and Maroo, for allegedly cheating the government by misrepresenting facts to get the Madhya Pradesh based Urtan North coal block.

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