CBI registers case against Usha Martin; carries out searches

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CBI has carried out searches at three locations in connection with a case of alleged cheating against mining company Usha Martin with regards to lease for an iron ore mine to it in Jharkhand in 2005.

CBI sources said the searches were carried out at company’s headquarters in Kolkata, its plant in Ghamaria and residence of the then Director of Mines in Dhanbad.

CBI has registered a case of alleged criminal conspiracy cheating and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act against promoters of Usha Martin, the company and then Director Mines Jharkhand Government ID Paswan, agency sources said.

It is alleged that the company was allegedly favoured in the grant of ore mining lease in a village Ghatkuri in Singhbhum West district in 2005 over five other applicants.

The state government had favoured Usha Martin in its recommendation to Centre for the allotment of mine as the company had allegedly promised that it would use the ore in its steel plant in Ghamaria in the state.

The undertaking by the company led the state government to recommend it as a special case for captive consumption.

CBI has alleged that the company later backtracked from the undertaking taking advantage of the fact that the special reason was not specifically mentioned in the Cabinet note in this regard, the sources said.

CBI spokesperson R K Gaur said the case was registered on the allegations of abuse of official position, cheating & causing undue advantage to said private firm while allowing mining of iron-ore in village Ghattkuri, District West Singhbhumi (Jharkhand).

The said case was registered on the notification from Jharkhand Government and further notification from Government of India, he said.

Gaur said searches led to recovery of certain documents including computer hard disk.

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