Court summons Congress MP Vijay Darda in coal block case

New Delhi: A court here Wednesday summoned Rajya Sabha member Vijay Darda with three others and asked them to appear May 23 in a coal block allocation case.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Madhu Jain took cognizance of the charge sheet and summoned Darda, his son Devendra Darda, Nagpur-based firm AMR Iron and Steel and its director Manoj Jayaswal, who are accused in the case.

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The CBI filed a charge sheet March 27 against Darda and others under various laws dealing with criminal conspiracy and cheating and under the relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI in its FIR said the firm, in its application form for allocation of coal blocks, “fraudulently” concealed the fact that its group companies had previously been allocated five coal blocks.

Detailing the allocation of coal blocks to AMR Iron and Steel Pvt. Ltd., the agency said the ministry of coal invited applications for allocation of coal blocks, including Bander coal block in Maharashtra, having geological reserve of 126.105 million metric tonnes.

The CBI said the 36th Screening Committee, headed by the coal secretary, after concluding its deliberations July 3, 2008, recommended allocation of Bander Coal Block jointly to J.K. Cement Ltd., M/s Century Textiles and Industries Ltd., and AMR Iron and Steel Pvt. Ltd. for their proposed plants in Karnataka and Maharashtra.

“The enquiry revealed that AMR Iron and Steel Pvt. Ltd. had misrepresented or concealed the facts in its application form in order to qualify and obtain wrongful gains or undue benefits in connivance with unknown public servants,” the FIR said.