Accused number 11 in the Naveen Jindal coal scam is all set to turn government approver and spill the beans.Suresh Singhal, who had appealed to the special court for pardon, recorded his statement in front of the magistrate on April 26. The contents of the confession were presented to special CBI judge Bharat Parashar for consideration in a sealed cover the same day. Singhal is the director of New Delhi Exims Pvt Ltd (NDEPL) and one of the 15 accused in the Jindal coal scam.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I am ready to disclose the true facts of the case regarding the transfer of Rs 2 crore from Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd (JRPL) to NDEPL further to Sowbhagya Media Ltd (SML) in the form of the purchase of shares,” sources who attended his deposition before Parashar quoted Singhal as saying.In his six-page application to the court, he said, “I further pray to your honour to please allow me to be government approver and also request your honour to pardon me for the truth brought by me to the honourable court.”Claiming his family members were undergoing huge mental pressure, he said, “now it has gone beyond the level of tolerance. So (I) wish to speak out the whole truth in front of your honour for which I have been stopped many times under dire threats and consequences.”On April 21, Singhal, a chartered accountant, had submitted an application stating his role in the transfer of money from Jindal to a company favoured by former minister of state Dasari Narayan Rao. In the application, Singhal also alleged the role of accused number 12 – Rajeev Jain, director of JRPL, and Sushil Maroo “who was working with Naveen Jindal Group at a very senior position.”The court has issued a notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and 14 accused on Singhal’s plea for pardon and turning approver in the case. The next hearing in the case is on May 11.On Friday, a special court at Patiala House ordered framing of charges against Jindal, Rao, former chief minster Madhu Koda and 12 others in the coal scam case. “Charges to be framed against all accused under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) read with 409 and 420 of IPC and under sections 13(1)(c), 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act,” the court said.Besides Jindal, Koda and Rao, 12 others, including former Coal secretary HC Gupta were charge-sheeted by the CBI in a case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd (GSIPL) in 2008.The other accused in the case are Rajeev Jain, director of Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, Girish Kumar Suneja and Radha Krishna Saraf, directors of GSIPL, Suresh Singhal, director of New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd, K Ramakrishna Prasad, managing director of Sowbhagya Media Ltd and chartered accountant Gyan Swaroop Garg. All accused are currently out on bail.Five firms, JSPL, Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, Gagan Infraenergy Ltd (formerly known as GSIPL), Sowbhagya Media Ltd and New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd are also on trial.In its 144-page order, judge Parashar observed, the money trail of the aforementioned Rs. 2 crore and its cover-up is the crux of investigation. “A facade of companies prima facie appears to have been created as a smokescreen to cover up the actual transfer of money so as to avoid liability under any law/rules/regulations,” the court said.The court further observed “prima facie reflects the active collusion between the public servants involved in the process and the private parties in whose favour the coal block stood allotted.” In its chargesheet, the CBI stated that Naveen Jindal criminally conspired and roped in various accused as conspirators at different points of time to get allocation of the alleged coal block.The CBI had alleged that in lieu of the recommendation of allocation of ‘Amarkonda Murgadangal Coal Block’, Jindal conspired with Koda and “promised him to garner support of the Congress for his unstable government and help him in continuing as Jharkhand chief minister.”During the course of investigation, it was found that M/s GSIPL had misrepresented on several counts in the feedback form submitted before the screening committee and managed to procure the allocation of impugned coal block in its favour.The CBI also found that soon after the allocation of the block, an amount of Rs 2 crore was invested by M/s New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd (M/s NDEPL) into M/s Sowbhagya Media Ltd, of which Rao was not only one of the directors, but also its main promotor.The CBI alleged that in order to facilitate payment of Rs 2 crore to Rao by the Jindal group, a number of transactions between different companies owned by Singhal and Gyan Swaroop Garg was adopted. However, it was found that all the said transactions between various companies were found to be linked to Jindal Group of companies to camouflage the alleged payoff of Rs 2 crore to Dasari Narayan Rao by Naveen Jindal promoter of M/s JSPL and M/s GSIPL.The JSPL, however, denied the charges. An e-mail from its spokesperson to media said: We deny all allegations made against our company and its management. We have full faith in the Indian judicial system and are confident to come out clean during the process. The said allocation was made to the company purely on merits and all along the course of the investigation the company and its officials have fully cooperated with the authorities, and whenever asked, explained and provided all the supporting documents.Coal scam: when and howThe coal scam refers to a draft report released in March 2014, by the comptroller audit general (CAG) stating that the government exchequer lost Rs 1.86 crore since it allotted the coal blocks to private entities and PSUs, instead of auctioning it during 2004-2009. However, in 2012, following a complaint lodged by the BJP, the CBI initiated an inquiry to probe allegations of corruption. Consequently, a first information report (FIR) report was filed by the probe agency that accused almost a dozen firms overstating their net worth, failing to disclose prior coal allocations and hoarding, rather than developing coal allocations.
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