Coal Scam : Finally CBI files FIR against Nagpur’s Nippon Denro Ispat

Nagpur: In a classic example of significant delays in actioning the cases of huge financial scam, the Central Bureau of Investigation has finally lodged an FIR in the alleged irregularities in the allotment of Coal block to Nippon Denro Ispat Limited during Vajpayee’s government in 1998.

The action came good seven years after receiving complaint from 6 parliamentarians. After receiving a complaint from then Congress’s parliamentarian Sandeep Dixit, a preliminary inquiry was initiated by the CBI on September 26, 2012 on directions of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

The investigation pertains to the allocation of Kilhoni Coal Block to Nippon Denro Ispat Limited which was given a green signal by the screening committee on August 24, 1998. The irregularities alleged in the CBI’s FIR claims that Kilhoni Coal Block in Maharashtra was not in the list for captive mining, also was not cleared in the 12th meeting of screening committee. However, in the 13th meeting of screening committee, Coal India Limited was instructed to include Kilhoni Block.

According to the FIR, “Nippon Denro Ispat Ltd along with unidentified public servants in a criminal conspiracy cheated the Government of India and committed offences punishable under 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) and 13 (2) read with 13 (1) (d) of Prevention of Corruption Act.”

JSW Ispat Steel Ltd was set up as Nippon Denro Ispat Limited in May 1984 by founding chairman Mr M L Mittal. The company had set up a plant at Kalmeshwar, Nagpur to manufacture 35,000 MT per annum galvanized plain/corrugated sheets (UP/GC sheets) of twin guages (0.5 mm and lesser) adopting Dry Flux Process, introduced for the first time in India. In 1986 the company set up a cold rolling mill with 1,25,000 TPA capacity of cold rolling steel sheets at Kalmeshwar, District Nagpur.

The company have operations in iron, steel, mining, energy and infrastructure. It has two integrated steel plants, located at Dolvi and Kalmeshwar, Nagpur.