CBI sticks to Birla FIR, seeks all PMO records
Oct 22 2013 , New Delhi
Tells SC there was conspiracy in mine allocation
The status report also gave the progress made in CBI’s probe into the remaining 13 cases pertaining to the scam.
According to sources, the FIR states that while the recommendations of the screening committee, which had rejected Hindalco’s application citing ‘valid reasons’, were being approved by the ‘competent authority’, it received letters dated May 17 and June 17, 2005, from Birla, requesting allocation of the Talabira II coal block.
The letters were forwarded to the coal ministry. The FIR also said Birla met Parakh in July, 2005, requesting the allocation of the block.
CBI has claimed that the mining rights given to Hindalco were an ‘undue favour’ that resulted from a criminal conspiracy between Birla and Parakh. CBI has also claimed that Parakh ‘abused’ his official position as coal secretary and recommended the allocation of Talabira II along with Talabira III to Hindalco without any valid basis or change in circumstances.
Sources said CBI also claimed said that Parakh’s ‘sole intention’ was to show undue favours. Parakh has contended that while he did make the recommendation, it was the prime minister who took the final decision on it.
The apex court, which is monitoring the CBI probe in the scam, had on August 29 directed it to submit by October 22 its report on the status of the investigation up to October 18.
Earlier, in pursuance of the court’s order of August 6, CBI had filed 14 reports compiled in one volume in respect of the status of the investigation in the matter up to August 25.
The apex court will now peruse CBI’s latest report and conduct proceedings in the matter on October 29.
PTI adds: CBI on Tuesday wrote to prime minister’s office (PMO) seeking all the records related to the allocation of coal block to Hindalco, three days after the top office said prime minister Manmohan Singh had approved it on the basis of ‘merits’ of the case placed before him.
CBI sources said the move came after filing of status report before the Supreme Court. The agency has also mentioned about the ‘competent authority’ in the FIR, which the prime minister’s office had explained in its statement is the prime minister, who was holding the charge as coal minister in 2005 when the decision was taken.
The prime minister’s office has termed the decision to allot Talabira coal block to Hindalco as ‘appropriate’.
Reacting to Central Bureau of Investigation’s action, Minister of State for prime minister’s office V Narayanasamy said, “We have nothing to hide and have already given thousands of documents to the agency.”
CBI has said in a statement that it would probe every aspect of the case mentioned in its FIR before taking any call on the future course of action.
“As of now, the investigation is going on. We will probe every aspect of the FIR before a future course of action is decided,” CBI said.