City-based founding director of NPPL questioned; files confiscated

Officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday conducted searches on the offices and residence of one of the former directors of Navabharat Power Private Limited (NPPL), one of the five companies against which the probe agency had registered cases related to coal blocks allocation scam.

A team of CBI sleuths, sources said, were learnt to have questioned a city-based founding director of NPPL for a couple of hours and confiscated a few files pertaining to the company from his offices and residence.

Efforts to contact the individual have failed since his mobile phone was found to be switched off since forenoon.

The Orissa-based NPPL was floated as a joint venture company in 2005 by Malaxmi Energy Ventures (India) Private Limited (MEVPL) and Nava Bharat Ventures Limited (NBVL) with a plan to set up a 2,250-MW coal-based thermal power project in Dhenkanal district in Orissa.

Shares sold later

Later, NBVL sold about 52 per cent of its existing shareholding in NPPL and MEVPL had sold its entire stake in the firm to a subsidiary of Essar Energy, an India-focused London-listed energy company. NPPL is operating as a subsidiary of Essar Power Limited from July 13, 2010.

Sources said the CBI had registered cases in connection with the allegations related to getting coal blocks allocated on the basis of misrepresentations and false claims in the applications, presentations and connivance or lack of due diligence on part of public servants. Promoters of some of these companies have allegedly sold their stakes in an irregular manner after allocation of coal blocks, it is alleged.

  • NPPL floated in 2005 to set up a 2,250-MW coal-based thermal project in Dhenkanal

  • CBI registered cases in connection with coal blocks allocations made on misrepresentations