In a three-decade-old allotment of coal blocks for mining, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against companies of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka group on charges of corruption, cheating and criminal conspiracy. It relates to the Deocha Pachami, Tara West, Mahan and South Dadhu coal blocks allotted in the 1993-1995 period.
It was in 2012 that the Central Vigilance Commission referred the matter to the CBI, which initiated a preliminary enquiry into alleged irregularities in the allocation of the blocks to RPG Industries, RPG Enterprises and Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC) Limited, part of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group.
The preliminary enquiry revealed that RPG Industries in April 1992 requested the Coal Ministry for mining blocks for power generation by CESC. And Sarisatoli coal block was earmarked.
In November 1993, CESC asked the ministry to allot an adjacent coal block as reserves in Sarisatoli were not sufficient for its plants. At this, Sarisatoli, Tara and Deocha Pachami blocks were “tentatively identified”, the preliminary probe further revealed.
The copy of the FIR accessed by NDTV says, “The companies misrepresented about the ownership, development, operation of proposed power plant for getting the coal block allocated. At one place it is mentioned that plant will be developed by RPG Industries, whereas other places it is mentioned that the power plant will be developed by CESC. The [ministry] has allocated the blocks to one company, RPG Industries Ltd, whereas the application was made by other companies interchangeably, and the proposed power plant was to be set up by the other company.”
The FIR further says RPG Industries in May 1995 requested for the Mahan block for a project in Dholpur, Rajasthan. Here, the two attached clearances were in different names – one in RPG Enterprises’ name, the other for CESC Limited, says the CBI.
The company associated with power generation was only CESC.
Again, in July 1994, as per a letter from CESC, a pact was signed with the Rajasthan State Electricity Board by RPG Enterprises, while the allocation in July 1995 was issued to RPG Industries.