Tata Steel must be investigated in the Coal Scam: Subramanian Swamy

While many companies involved in the Coal scam have been investigated, Tata Steel has escaped the net of the CBI

While many companies involved in the Coal scam have been investigated, Tata Steel has escaped the net of the CBI
While many companies involved in the Coal scam have been investigated, Tata Steel has escaped the net of the CBI

The black and dirty coal scam of the UPA has again become the talking point as the relentless anti-corruption crusader, Dr. Subramanian Swamy has turned his attention to it.

Swamy alleged that this favoritism was shown to Tata Group because at that time then CBI Director Ranjit Sinha’s brother Anand Sinha was a high-ranking official in Tata Group led by Ratan Tata.

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA), was known in its second edition as the government which lurched from scam to scam until it was ousted by the Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). In a writ petition dated 2012, the UPA 2 government was dragged to court for the improprieties in the allocation of coal blocks between 1993 and 2010. In a landmark judgment on 25th August 2014, the Supreme Court had finally declared that the allocation of all coal blocks between 1993 and 2010 was illegal and canceled then and there, the allocation of nearly 200 coal blocks. The case was being handled by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The CBI under its former director Mr. Ranjit Sinha, in the meanwhile, had already filed its first chargesheet in the scam in March 2014 against Navbharat Power Limited owned by the Essar group. A few months after the Supreme Court verdict, the then CBI director retired and Sri. Alok Verma, the current director took over to continue the investigations into the case.

In April 2017 however, the CBI filed a First Information Report (FIR) against its former director Ranjit Sinha for trying to obstruct justice and influence investigation. The case was filed under the Prevention of Corruption Act for his role in trying to influence the investigation in the coal scam case.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) under the previous Manmohan Singh regime had filed that there was a loss of Rs. 1.86 Lakh crore ($28.5 billion) to the national exchequer and that there were about 25 companies who benefited from this national loss. Tata Steel was one of the beneficiary companies named by the CAG in its report.

In May 2017, the CBI, continuing the investigation, filed a charge sheet against Naveen Jindal for the allocation of a coal block in Madhya Pradesh.

In some fresh developments, Dr. Subramanian Swamy has now written to the CBI Director, urging him to proceed with prosecution against Tata Steel, who he claims is the only beneficiary from the CAG report against whom, a charge sheet has not been filed. In his later dated September 12, 2017, Dr. Swamy brings to the attention of the CBI Director, the following observation of the Supreme Court:

“…the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held the Coal Block Allotments as “invalid, unfair and arbitrary consisting of an illegal method which was adopted in novel way” which non-transparent allotment resulted in windfall gain made and thus the State was deprived of the full value of the nation’s resources.”

He then further goes on to remind the CBI, that in its capacity as the investigation agency entrusted with the task of unearthing this scam,

“…the CBI had vigorously continued the prosecution in the Special CBI Court of all allottees but with the sole exception of the Tata Steel Co. allottee. “

He says that this exclusion of the Tata Steel Co. allottee is “dubious and against public interest”.

Swamy alleged that this favoritism was shown to Tata Group because at that time then CBI Director Ranjit Sinha’s brother Anand Sinha was a high-ranking official in Tata Group led by Ratan Tata. In the CAG Report on Coal Scam which exposes the Rs.1.80 lakh crore loss to the exchequer clearly shows that three Tata Group companies including Tata Steel were the biggest beneficiaries in the scam.

However,  Swamy has been quick to add that this exclusion was made during the tenure of the previous head of the CBI Sri. Ranjit Sinha and therefore, the present incumbent is perhaps not aware of the situation.

Dr. Swamy has urged the Director to take up prosecution of Tata Steel on par with all the other beneficiaries named and do so at the earliest.

CAG’s report has detailed many Tata Group companies involving Tata Steel and Tata-controlled Strategic Energy & Tech System as major beneficiaries in the Coal Scam. The CAG Report which exposed Rs.1.86 lakh crores ($28.5 billion) loss found that Rs.33,060 crores ($5 billion) loss was from the Coal blocks allotment to Tata-controlled Strategic Energy & Tech System and Rs. 7,161 crores loss ($1.1 billion) was from Coal blocks allotment to Tata Steel. However, though most of the companies indicted by CAG were charge-sheeted by CBI, Tata Group firms, the biggest beneficiaries in the Coal Scam, have not yet been probed by the CBI.

Subramanian Swamy’s letter to CBI Director is published below:

Subramanian Swamy's Letter to CBI Director on Tata Sept 12, 2017 by PGurus on Scribd

Note:
1. The conversion rate used in this article is 1 USD = 65.22 Rupees.

Team PGurus

6 COMMENTS

  1. Despite of such huge benefits all these companies accomulate losses to the tune of thousands of cores . Both Power and Steel s3 sectrs are the worst defaulters on NPA s
    Most industries in India are run inefficiently inclubbing TATAS
    Thee people use funds to project themselves as great industrialists. Interesting to note that all these groups TATA BIRLA BAJAJ KIRLOSKAR SINGH ANI AS OGENERAL had monopoly benefits for more than 50 years but failed miserably baring few

  2. Tata Group is the biggest beneficiary in Coal Scam. But due to political pressure from all sides Tata’s kept saved. They should be prosecuted

  3. There are many powerful lawyer netas in both Cong and BJP who are vakeels for Tatas via retainerships at various times.
    Swamy will become Vandu Murugan if he really persued his cases against Tatas other than his usual court gimmicks, blackmail
    Probably Swamy joker can only blackmail Tatas that too only to extent of having litle influence on quanta of funding to parties done by Tatas,other than that nothing he can dream even in his next 7 janmas.

    • Kishore, this is your last warning. If you have a point to make, do so, with facts. One more comment like this and nothing you ever comment will show up.

  4. Excellent. I have always been too uncomfortable with the fact that the Tatas were controlling too much of the strategic Indian economy.

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