CBI files charge sheet against 41 in coal pilferage scam in West Bengal

Along with the CBI, Enforcement Directorate is currently probing the scam and has quizzed TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee and his wife

July 20, 2022 03:47 am | Updated 03:47 am IST - KOLKATA

File image.

File image. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday filed a charge sheet before a court in Asansol in West Bengal’s Paschim Bardhaman district in the coal pilferage scam. The charge sheet names 41 accused former general managers, former chief managers, former security and other officials of Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL).

“A case was registered on 27.11.2020 on the allegations that the public servants of ECL including security personnel, private persons and unknown officials including of CISF, Railway, other departments & unknown others entered into conspiracy during May, 2020 & onwards and in pursuance of the said conspiracy, they fraudulently misappropriated coal from the coal reserve of leasehold areas under the dominion of ECL and also from the coal stock parked in the Railway sidings for sale and supply,” a press statement from the CBI said.

The CBI statement said that the accused had obtained undue advantage in the form of huge and regular cash amount as bribe from said private person and facilitated misappropriation of coal from ECL leasehold area and corresponding railway siding. The accused extended undue protection & patronage to the illegal coal syndicate being run by the said private person, the agency said.

The key accused in the scam include Anup Majee ailas Lala, who has been arrested by a central investigation agency. The other is former Trinamool Congress ( TMC) youth wing leader Vinay Mishra, who is absconding. A court in Delhi had declared Vinay Mishra, a proclaimed offender earlier this month. Vinay Mishra’s brother Vikas Mishra has been arrested by the agency and is named in the charge sheet. Earlier this month, eight ECL employees, including former general managers, were arrested by the agency. Two former general managers named in the charge sheet are Sushanta Banerjee and Subhas Kumar Mukhopadhyay and Tanmay Das former Chief Manager (Security) of ECL. The charge sheet named Joydeb Mondal, Narayan Nanda, Nirad Mondal and Gurupada Majhi, who were arrested by CBI in September last year.

The CBI had in the past questioned TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee and his wife in connection with the scam. The coal pilferage scam involves illegal mining at leasehold mines of Eastern Coalfields in Kunustoria and Kajora areas near Asansol in West Bengal. Along with the CBI, Enforcement Directorate is probing the scam and has quizzed the TMC general secretary and his wife.

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