New Delhi: CBI has registered a fresh case in the coal block allocation scam against Indal (now Hindalco, Aditya Birla group) in connection with the allocation of Talabira-I coal block, twenty years ago.
The agency Friday carried out search operations at four places including one in Mumbai and three places in Sambalpur, Odisha after registering the case, CBI sources said.
It is alleged that the coal was used by the company in an unauthorised manner in the existing power plant whereas the allocation was done for expanding the capacity of new power plant, the sources said.
The agency has also alleged that mining was started by the company wihout obtaining the mandatory permission.
The sources said agency has named Indal (now Hindalco) and unknown public servants in connection with the case.
Public servants, the agency alleged, facilitated the illegal operations by not taking action against unauthorised use despite their knowledge.
Talabira-I coal block in IB valley in Odisha, with nearly 22.55 million tonnes of geological reserves, was allotted to Indal on February 25, 1994.
"In continuation with their investigation into 185 coal mines across industry, the CBI has now begun its investigation into Talabira-I, a mine allocated in 1994 to the erstwhile Indal, which was later acquired by Hindalco. In this connection, the CBI carried out searches in three of the Company's sites," the Aditya Birla group spokesperson said.
The company is already facing probe in the Talabira-II coal block in which CBI has recently examined former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, his Principal Secretary TKA Nair besides head of Aditya Birla Group Kumar Mangalam Birla.
The agency had filed a closure report in the allocation of Talabira-II which has been rejected by the Special Court which directed CBI to re-investigate the matter.
This is 38th FIR in the Coal block allocation scam and during the searches "incriminating documents" have been seized by the agency, CBI sources said.
The company spokesperson said as is known the CBI has been investigating coal block allocations made since 1993, under the monitoring of the Supreme Court.
"With regard to allocation of 15% share to Hindalco in Talabira II and III coal mine, the CBI has already filed their closure report," she said.
The spokesperson said the Supreme Court has cancelled the allocation of 204 coal mines to all the respective companies. The mines will be auctioned as announced by the Ministry of Coal.