Bhubaneswar: Former Union coal minister Dilip Ray claimed on Wednesday he was a victim of "political vendetta" by the then UPA government after a special CBI court framed charges against him for his alleged involvement in coal block allocation case.
Ray, however, said he has complete faith in the judicial system claiming his innocence in the coal scam.
"The scam ridden United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government out of sheer political vendetta pressurised the CBI to dig out something to malign me and its predecessor NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and FIR was registered in September 2012," said Ray, who is a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA in Odisha.
The case pertains to the alleged irregularities in Brahmadiha coal block in Jharkhand to Castron Technologies Limited in 1999 while Ray was a Minister of state (Independent charge) for coal in the erstwhile National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.
"While I was the minister, BJP MP PK Agarwal had brought the coal block allocation proposal. I had sent it to the ministry for re-examining it. The CBI has erroneously alleged that in view of my endorsement of his representation for re-examination, Castron owned by Agrawal was allotted a coal block," said Ray in a statement.
He said Screening Committee recommends allotment of coal blocks where he wasn't a member of it then.
Ray also said that grant of this coal block in question was in fact recommended by the Jharkhand state government in favour of Castron, as it was an abandoned coal block of yesteryear's from which coal was regularly being looted by the coal mafia.
The state government wanted legal utilisation of this block, he added.
"I was advised by my legal team not to seek a discharge (which would have only delayed the proceedings) and to volunteer myself for a speedy trial since I have complete faith in the judicial system and I have done nothing wrong in nearly four decades of my public life," said the BJP leader.
Updated Date: Apr 26, 2017 14:29 PM