While the allocation of a coal block to J.R. Power Gen Pvt Ltd, a company owned by the family of Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting S. Jagathrakshakan in 2007 has created controversy, the Minister has said he had not used his office for the purpose, as the relevant agreement was entered into long before he assumed office.
In a statement, the Minister also sought to clarify that he had resigned from the post of director and stakeholder of J.R. Power Gen Pvt Ltd, which entered into an agreement with the Puducherry Industrial Promotion Development and Investment Corporation (PIPDIC) for coal block allocation, even before he filed his nomination for the Lok Sabha election in 2009.
The allegation against the J.R. Power Gen Pvt Ltd is that the company was allotted a coal block, though it was only five days old at the time of agreement and had no experience in the sector.
The story began with the Ministry of Coal issuing public advertisement in 2006, calling for bids from State governments for allocation of coal blocks. Subsequently, Gujarat and Puducherry governments together secured allocation of a coal block at Naini in Orissa.
Later the Puducherry government through PIPDIC entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with J.R. Power Gen Pvt Ltd on January 1, 2007.
“I was not a Member of the Legislative Assembly or of Parliament when the MoU was signed or even much later,” Mr Jakathrakshakan said.
Reiterating that no further activity had been pursued upon the agreement with PIPDIC, he said the shares of the company had not been sold to anyone. Further, a suit was pending in a court in Chennai on an “inter-directors dispute” in JR Power Gen P Ltd, he said.
Media reports say that J.R. Power had sold 51 per cent of the stakes to K.S.K. Energy Ventures Ltd, a Hyderabad-based company.