The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered yet another case in the coal block allocation scam against a Maharashtra-based company, its directors and others for alleged irregularities in the allotment of Marki Mangli blocks.

“A case of conspiracy and cheating has been registered against Nagpur-based Topworth Urja and Metals Limited, formerly Shree Virangana Steels Limited, its directors Surendra Lodha and Om Prakash Nevatia and other unknown persons. It is an outcome of a preliminary enquiry launched into allegations of discrepancies in the allocations made between 1993 and 2005,” a CBI official said.

The agency conducted searches at four places in Nagpur, Yavatmal and Mumbai in connection with the case.

The official said: “It has been alleged that the company had entered mining lease deeds in the name of Virangana Steels, which then did not exist. Its request for a change of name to ‘Topworth’ was also not approved by the Coal Ministry as there was a variation in the shareholding pattern.”

According to the CBI, the company also resorted to excessive mining without augmenting the capacity of its existing sponge iron plant for which it had been allocated the Marki Mangli II, III and IV coal blocks in Yavatmal. Based on the initial findings, the agency initiated a formal probe to ascertain whether there was any diversion of spare coal.

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