Exactly two weeks after it filed a first set of five FIRs in the coal case, the Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday questioned Arvind Jayaswal, Director of the Nagpur-based AMR Iron and Steel Pvt. Ltd, whose company is alleged to have given false information and concealed crucial facts to get the Bander coal block in Maharashtra allotted in 2009.
CBI sources said Mr. Jayaswal was asked about his alleged meeting with the then Minister of State for Coal in September 2008 to claim that his company was not part of the Jayaswal Group, but its equity was held by the Lokmat Group, Abhijeet Infrastructure Ltd and IL&FS. The company had also allegedly admitted before the Minister to having got five blocks earlier, though this information was not disclosed while filing the application for the said block.
The sources said Mr. Jayaswal was confronted with papers showing how his firm concealed and misrepresented equity participation of IL&FS and the Lokmat Group to get the coal block allotted.
During the eight-hour questioning, CBI sleuths asked him about the role of government officials who allegedly helped the firm get the coal block.
Arvind’s two brothers — Manoj and Ramesh — who are Directors in the firm, have also been named in the FIR, apart from Devendra Darda, son of Congress MP Vijay Darda. They are likely to be called for investigation in the next few days, the sources said.
According to the FIR, the preliminary enquiry has revealed that “AMR Iron and Steel Pvt. Ltd. misrepresented/concealed facts in the application form to qualify [for allotment] and obtain wrongful gains/undue benefits in connivance with unknown public servants.”
The CBI is inquiring into the alleged role of Coal Ministry officials who “wilfully” did not make all these necessary investigations.