Awaits Congress MP Naveen Jindal’s return from London

With the government giving the go-ahead, the CBI will soon question the former Coal Secretary, H.C. Gupta, in connection with the scam in allocation of coal blocks during 2006-09.

Mr. Gupta, who quit as member of the Competition Commission of India on Wednesday, will make himself available to the investigators for questioning on coal blocks allocation, well-placed sources in the CBI said. He is being dubbed a key link in the alleged irregularities in allocation of mines when the Coal Ministry was under the charge of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The BJP had accused the government of blocking the questioning of Mr. Gupta in an attempt at shielding Dr. Singh.

Also in the spot is industrialist and Congress MP Naveen Jindal, who, along with the former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayana Rao, has been named by the CBI in the 12 FIR registered in the scam.

“No undue haste”

The sources stated that Mr. Jindal, said to be away in London, was likely to return to Delhi by month-end and make himself available for questioning by the CBI. “As there is no apprehension of Mr. Jindal keeping himself away for questioning, we are so far not showing any undue haste,” a source in the CBI told The Hindu.

The latest FIR has accused Mr. Jindal and Mr. Rao of criminal misconduct, conspiracy, and cheating. It has named Jindal Steel and Power Ltd., Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt. Ltd., Jindal Reality and New Delhi Exim Pvt. Ltd. — in which Mr. Jindal holds substantial shares, accusing them of influencing the screening committee during the allocation of coal blocks.

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