Coalgate: CBI to register more FIRs
Expanding the scope of its probe, the CBI is likely to register more cases to investigate the alleged irregularities in allocation of coal blocks to certain private companies, mainly in between 2006-09
New Delhi: Expanding the scope of its probe, the CBI is likely to register more cases to investigate the alleged irregularities in allocation of coal blocks to certain private companies, mainly in between 2006-09.
“The agency may register two to three FIRs soon,” a senior official said here. The agency has registered 14 FIRs and three preliminary inquiries (PEs) to probe coal blocks allocation scam. CBI is looking into allocation made between 2006 and 2009.
CBI is in the process of closing one of the PEs, in which it was probing alleged irregularities in Anil Ambani’s ADAG group run Ulta Mega Power Project (UMPP) in Sasan, Madhya Pradesh citing a policy decision vetted by empowered Group of Ministers (eGoM).
No further PE in the matter is likely to be closed, the official said. The preliminary inquiry was registered on the directions of Supreme Court which had asked the CBI to probe 14 issues which included supply of low floor buses by Tata motors to Tamil Nadu government, grant of spectrum and alleged market manipulations and hammering of stocks by Unitech.
CBI sources said it has come to the light that use of surplus coal from the Sasan UMPP was approved on two separate occasions by two EGoMs. They said since it was a policy decision, CBI was not likely to question it.
“The allocation of coal mines to the Sasan project was done to a 100 per cent government-owned company in 2006 when our company Reliance Power had not even won the project.
Government dis-invested its shares to Reliance pursuant to a Global Tender in the year 2007. “The use of surplus coal from the Sasan UMPP has been approved on two separate occasions by two EGoMs,” the CBI had said.
Aditya Birla Group Chairman K M Birla and former Coal Secretary P C Parakh have already been named in one of the coal scam cases. The allegations of any misconduct have been denied by Birla and Parakh.
CBI has also registered case against Naveen Jindal, his company Jindal Steel and Power Limited and former coal minister N Dasari Rao in another coal scam related FIRs. Both the accused have refuted allegations.
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) had in May this year referred to CBI the case of alleged irregularities in allocation of coal blocks to public and private companies which has brought the government under attack from opposition.
The CVC had then forwarded the case to CBI to probe the alleged irregularities in the coal block allocation by the Centre.
CBI is looking into coal blocks allocation since 1993 by respective governments– including BJP-led National Democratic Alliance regime from 1998 to 2004 as well as those given during United Front rule in 1996-98.
The practice to give captive coal blocks to private power, steel and cement firms had begun in 1993, following an amendment to the Coal Mines (Nationalization) Act.