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Coal scam: No role in conspiracy, was eligible, says Jindal Steel and Power Ltd

Arguing on framing of charges in the case, senior advocate N Hariharan, who appeared for accused firm, said the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block was allocated to it after the recommendation of the screening committee and all prescribed guidelines were followed during the entire process.

Press Trust Of India

Updated:November 5, 2015, 5:02 PM IST
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Coal scam: No role in conspiracy, was eligible, says Jindal Steel and Power Ltd
Arguing on framing of charges in the case, senior advocate N Hariharan, who appeared for accused firm, said the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block was allocated to it after the recommendation of the screening committee and all prescribed guidelines were followed during the entire process.

New Delhi: Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) on Thursday told a special court that it was not involved in any conspiracy to get a coal block in Jharkhand and was the only eligible firm to get it.

Arguing on framing of charges in the case, senior advocate N Hariharan, who appeared for accused firm, said the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block was allocated to it after the recommendation of the screening committee and all prescribed guidelines were followed during the entire process.

"It was the net worth of applicant company which was to be considered as per the guidelines of the screening committee for which only my client (JSPL) was eligible," he told Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar. He also argued that the other firms which had applied for the block did not fulfil the criteria mentioned in guidelines and therefore, the coal block was allocated to JSPL.

The counsel said there was no evidence to show that there was any conspiracy between the firm, then Coal Secretary HC Gupta and then Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao. Besides JSPL, former MP Naveen Jindal, ex-Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, Gupta, Rao and 10 others are accused in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to two Jindal group firms, JSPL and Gagan Sponge Iron Private Ltd (GSIPL).

During arguments, Hariharan told the court that Gupta had asked the screening committee to follow all the guidelines and the allegation that he was in conspiracy with JSPL was not correct. "I (JSPL) am anguised as my application was right, all the other things were right, still I am here (in the court)," the counsel said.

The arguments remained inconclusive and would continue on November 30. CBI had earlier told the court that entire system in Jharkhand government was "manipulated" to favour Jindal group companies so that Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block could be allocated to them.

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