New Delhi: The CBI has booked Ahmedabad-based Adani Enterprises Ltd and three former senior officials of National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India (NCCF) for alleged corruption in the contract for supply of 6 lakh MT of imported coal to Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation in 2010, officials said Thursday.
In its FIR filed on Wednesday after a detailed preliminary enquiry in the matter, the CBI booked Adani Enterprises Ltd, the then NCCF chairman Virender Singh, the then managing director G P Gupta and senior advisor SC Singhal under IPC sections related to alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating under Indian Penal Code and Provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, they said.
The Adani Group said the matter is an old one and it was a preliminary investigation report only.
“There is a news item about lodging of an FIR by CBI against National Cooperative Consumer Federation and Adani Enterprises Ltd. related to supply of imported coal. The subject matter is an old one. Adani Enterprises Ltd. has complied with the process, all formalities and relevant laws for the subject supply of coal. The company has not done anything wrong in supply of coal,” a statement quoted Adani spokesperson as saying.
The spokesperson said it was a preliminary investigation report only.
“The company shall respond to the same and shall also put forth the factual position to the authority,” the statement said.
It is alleged that the NCCF officers “committed irregularities by manipulating the selection of the bidders, thereby giving undue favour to Adani Enterprises Ltd. in award of work for supply of imported coal to APGENCO despite its disqualification.
APGENCO had floated a limited tender enquiry on June 29, 2010 for the supply of six lakh MTs of imported coal via sea ports to Narla Tata Rao Thermal Power Plant in Vijaywada and Rayalaseema Thermal Power Plant (RTPP) in Kadapa free-on-rail basis via ports of Chennai, Vizag, Krishnapatnam and Kakinada, they said.
NCCF, which was one of the PSUs approached by APGENCO, had shortlisted six companies for the contract through a tender issued on July 7, 2010 cancelling the bid of a company Maharishi Brothers Coal Limited (MBCL) selected just six days before without any tendering process, the FIR alleged.
The argument given for the selection of MBCL was the close deadline of July 7, 2010 by APGENCO which was later extended to July 12.
“It is pertinent to mention here that before extension of the date of tender they had seven days (July 01, 2010 to July 07.2010) and after extension of date they had five days only (July 08 to July 12, 2010) but now management felt that they have sufficient time to call open tender,” the CBI FIR alleged.
The draft tender notice on July 7 was discussed and approved by three senior officials of NCCF — Singhal, Gupta, and Singh — who ignored laid-down guidelines without consulting the Head Office level committee, it alleged.
The agency has alleged that during the tendering process, the officials favoured Adani Enterprises Ltd even though it had not given any trading margin for NCCF in contrast to two bidders Gupta Coal India and MBCL who had quoted much higher margins of 11.3 per cent and 2.25 per cent respectively, they said.
The CBI alleged that acts of “omission and commission” by the NCCF officers disclose that they acted in “a manner as unbecoming of public servants” and conspired with the company.
The FIR said the officers “committed irregularities by the way of manipulation in the selection of the bidders, thereby giving undue favour to Adani Enterprises Ltd. in award of work for supply of imported coal to APGENCO despite its disqualification”.
The CBI has alleged that senior officers of NCCF did post tender negotiations with Adani Enterprises to give it undue benefits even though the company did not qualify when tender was opened at Hyderabad office of NCCF, the officials said.
“Instead of cancelling the bid of Adani Enterprises Ltd. senior management of NCCF conveyed the offer margin of NCCF to the company through one of its representatives Munish Sehgal who was sitting in the NCCF head office on July 10, 2010 in the evening…,” the FIR alleged.
It said subsequently Adani Enterprises Ltd on the same day informed NCCF that they agree to pay minimum margin charge of 2.25 per cent to NCCF.
“It is prima facie evident that when the bids were being processed at NCCF HO. New Delhi. representative of Adani Enterprises was Informed regarding their imminent rejection due to non submission of NCCF margin and also that MBCL, the eligible bidder had quoted 2 25 per cent margin,” the FIR alleged.
The agency has also alleged that Vyom Trade Links was a proxy of Adani Enterprises which had given it an unsecured loan of Rs 16.81 crore and withdrew its offer at last stage on “flimsy grounds”.