NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) plans to summon Congress Member of Parliament (MP) and industrialist Naveen Jindal after the end of the ongoing parliament session for questioning in the coal block allocations case lodged against him.

A top CBI official has told ET that it has been decided that Jindal will be formally summoned after the monsoon session of Parliament session ends on August 30. The agency filed a first information report (FIR) against Jindal and his company Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) on June 11 amid raids on his offices and residence, but Jindal has not been summoned so far.

Jindal is the sitting Congress MP from Kurukshetra in Haryana and summoning him for questioning while parliament is in session could increase the opposition’s heat on the UPA government.

“He was abroad earlier but he is back in India now. We do not want to embarrass the sitting MP by summoning him while the Parliament session is on. So he will be questioned sometime next month soon after the session ends,” the CBI official said, requesting anonymity.

Jindal Steel declined to comment. “In lieu of your query we have no comments to offer,” said Manu Kapoor, JSPL’s director for external affairs. On June 11, when CBI had registered its FIR, the company had acknowledged the agency’s action and said that it was “committed to fully cooperate with the CBI”.

The agency is also yet to summon former junior coal minister and another accused along with Jindal, Dasari Narayan Rao. In its June 11 FIR, the CBI had alleged that Rao, in a bid to influence block allocations in favour of Jindal firms, had written to the then coal secretary, who was also chairman of the screening committee that decided on the allocations in 2007.

The committee subsequently recommended allocation of the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block jointly to Jindal’s firms, JSPL and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd, both of which have been named in the FIR. The CBI has alleged that both companies misrepresented facts to get the coal blocks. JSPL, however, denies these allegations, saying it was a law abiding company that is “governed by a strong ethical code of conduct”.

Courtesy: Economic Times

Advertisements