Bellary (Karnataka), (IANS) Steel major Jindal Group Wednesday denied any wrongdoing or indulging in illegal activity even as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) searched offices and houses of its executives in a graft case related to the multi-crore-rupee mining scam in Karnataka.
Former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and his kin are accused of favouring Jindal Group’s firms.
“We reiterate that we have not done any illegal activity nor connected with any wrongdoing. We have full faith in the judicial process and our books are open to scrutiny,” a JSW Steel Ltd. spokesman told IANS in Bellary, about 300 km from Bangalore.
The $9-billion JSW Steel Ltd. was formed in 2005 following the merger of group firms Jindal Iron and Steel Company Ltd. (JISCO) and Jindal Vijayanagar Steel Ltd. (JVSl), one of the largest integrated steel plants at Torangallu, about 40 km from here.
Asserting that it would cooperate with the investigating agencies, the company said in a statement earlier that it was, in fact, a victim of the illegal mining in the mineral-rich region of the state.
“As we follow the highest standards of corporate governance, we will cooperate with the CBI probe though we have been a victim of illegal mining,” the statement said.
Earlier in the day, an eight-member CBI team searched the residence and office of JSW Steel chief executive Vinod Nowal in the steel township of Vidyanagar in connection with the Rs.10-crore donation its mining subsidiary South West Mining Company made in March 2010 to Prerana Trust, an educational society run by Yeddyurappa’s sons B.S. Vijayendra and B.S. Raghvendra and his son-in-law R.N. Sohan Kumar as its trustees.
The CBI sleuths also raided the house and office of South West Mining Company’s managing director B.P. Pandey and seized incriminating documents pertaining to the purchase of 2.24-acre land near Bangalore from the trio (Yeddyurappa’s kin) for a whopping Rs.20 crore in 2008-09 allegedly in violation of norms.
The CBI team also inspected files and records of the steel major before leaving for Bangalore late Wednesday.
The search was a part of the day-long searches the probe agency carried out at the houses of Yeddyurappa, his kin and their offices in Bangalore and Shimoga, about 280 km from Bangalore.