Coalscam: Delhi court convicts Maharashtra-based company, others

A Delhi court on Friday convicted a Maharashtra-based company and three of its former office bearers for cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy while seeking allocation of three state-based coal blocks in 2005.

Special Judge Sanjay Bansal held Topworth Urja & Metals Ltd, earlier known as Shree Virangana Steels Ltd, and its former officer bearers – Anil Kumar Saxena, Manoj Maheshwari and Anand Nand Kishore Sarda – guilty in the case.

The case relates to alleged irregularities in allocation of Marki Mangli-II, III and IV coal blocks in Umred district of the state to the company.

“All the accused are convicted,” the judge said.

The court will hear the arguments on the point of sentence on January 11.

The accused persons were the office bearers of the company at the time the coal block was allocated.

The company’s name changed after it was sold to Topworth Group.

The CBI was represented by additional legal advisor Sanjay Kumar and special public prosecutors A P Singh, N P Srivastava and A K Pathak.

According to the CBI, the case was an outcome of the preliminary enquiry to look into allegations of irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks between 1993 and 2005.

The company was allotted the Marki Mangli coal blocks 2, 3 and 4 in Maharashtra.

The CBI had conducted raids in Nagpur, Yavatmal and Mumbai in connection with the case.

In the FIR, the agency alleged the accused “irregularly entered mining lease deeds under the name of Virangana Steels, which did not exist”.

The CBI further said the request to change the name of the company to Topworth was not approved by the ministry of coal on the grounds that there was a change in the shareholding pattern of the company.

The CBI had also claimed to have found during its inquiry that the company resorted to excessive mining, without augmenting the capacity of its existing sponge iron plant, in violation of norms.

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