The special court of Rouse Avenue Courts, New Delhi on Tuesday convicted Binay Prakash, the then managing director and proprietor of Jharkhand based M/s Domco Smokeless Fuels Pvt. Ltd in the coal block allotment scam case.
This is one of the cases of notorious coal block allocation scam or ‘Coalgate’ that had surfaced during the regime of the UPA government headed by Manmohan Singh.
The court also convicted two of the directors of the company namely Vasant Diwakar Manjrekar and Paramananda Mondal as well as Sanjay Khandewal, Kolkata based chartered accountant of the company in this case.
On Tuesday, the court had held all four as well as the company guilty of the commission of the offence. The court had observed that guilty persons had hatched conspiracy in a synchronised manner to cheat both the ministry of coal and steel to secure allocation of the coal mines in favour of the company. The court had held them guilty of securing the Lalgarh (North) coal block in West Bokaro Coalfield in Jharkhand on the basis of false and fabricated documents.
The coal block was allotted to the company on 8th July, 2005. Binay Prakash had also obtained pecuniary benefit of Rs. 7 crores by offering to sell the shares of the company on premium after he secured an allocation of the coal block for the company.
The CBI had registered an instant case against the company and its promoters/directors as well as unknown persons in July 2014 under section 120-B, 420 of the IPC. The agency had also undertaken a preliminary enquiry on the directions received from CVC related to coal blocks allocated during the period from 1993 to 2005.
That enquiry had revealed that the Lalgarh (North) Coal block was identified in favour of the company by the 19th Screening Committee for the captive use and accordingly, the company was informed about the allocation of a coal mine on November 24, 2003.
But on 13 September 2012, the ministry of coal had scrapped the allocation made to the company for violating the terms and conditions of the allocation. In this case, the CBI had submitted the charge sheet on December 22, 2015.
But this is not the end of the trouble for the company and its promoter since the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also prosecuting them under provisions of the prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002. The agency has already filed the charge sheet before the PMLA court of Bharat Parashar in New Delhi. The ED has also attached a substantial part of the movable and immovable properties of the company, promoter and his relative. This includes amounts parked in the Axis Bank account of Ranchi based Hotel Le Lac said to be owned by Binay Prakash.
ED claimed that the Binay Prakash group had invested proceeds of crime for developing a government plot in NCR through M/s Kamakhya Builders. This construction company is controlled by Binay Prakash in the capacity of managing partner.