CBI books former director of CIMFR, chief scientist in Rs 137-Cr ‘scam’, ET EnergyWorld

New Delhi: The CBI has booked former director of the CSIR-Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research P K Singh and Chief Scientist A K Singh for alleged corruption in the distribution of intellectual fee amounting to Rs 137 crore for coal-sampling projects, officials said on Monday.

The agency has alleged that ineligible persons, including librarians, MBBS doctors and technical officers, were paid the money in the projects for testing the quality of coal to be used by various companies, without their contribution in the respective category of innovators and principal contributors, the officials said.

It is alleged that P K Singh received Rs 15.36 crore while A K Singh received Rs 9.04 crore of the intellectual fee through 304 coal-sampling projects in violation of the CSIR Guidelines for Technological Transfer and Knowledge Base, 2005 and 2017.

The CSIR-CIMFR was appointed as the third-party sampling agency for sampling and analysis of coal to be used by power utilities and coal companies at a meeting on October 28, 2015, chaired by the minister of coal, power and new and renewable energy.

Four memoranda of understanding were signed by the institute with coal producers and power companies for a tenure of 10 years, which could be extended by another five years on mutual consent.

“This agreement specifically mentioned the quality of coal to be sampled on a yearly basis and did not stipulate any sub-division of the said agreement into various projects for a shorter period. However, 304 coal-sampling projects were created by the CSIR-CIFMR by combining several agreements into one project.

“Several projects were created from one specific agreement by curtailing its tenure from 10 years and specifying the quantity of coal to be sampled in the project to facilitate distribution of intellectual fee,” the FIR alleged.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has alleged that P K Singh and A K Singh entered into a conspiracy that led to the distribution of Rs 137.79 crore as honorarium, intellectual fee and project fee between 2016 and 2021 to scientists, technical officers and administrative staff of the CIFMR under the coal-sampling projects.

The intellectual fee comprises manpower plus inputs. Manpower means the number of man days put in by an individual and inputs refer to the contribution made by the said individual in the project.

The agency has alleged that the amount was “arbitrarily distributed” among the staff of the CSIR-CSIMFR in accordance with the “sweet will” of the officials, without taking into consideration the manpower or man days and inputs, in violation of the CSIR guidelines.

  • Published On Jun 26, 2023 at 08:57 PM IST

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