Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will later this week question Hindalco chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla in the coal block allocation scam.
The agency had registered a case naming Birla along with PC Parakh and unknown officials of Hindalco and coal ministry last year under various sections pertaining to criminal conspiracy and corruption for alleged irregularities in the allocation of two coal blocks nine years back.
Immediately after filing an FIR with the court, the CBI had conducted searches at various places in the country. The CBI move was criticized by India Inc and former bureaucrats.
The agency had last month sent a questionnaire to Nair, Advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who in return sent replies to the CBI. The questions included those on coal policy and allocation of coal blocks when the Prime Minister was in charge of the Coal ministry between 2006 and 2009.
The replies of Nair were sought on delay in auctioning of coal blocks, missing coal files and events leading to the Talabira coal block being given to Hindalco in which Parakh and Birla, Chairman of Aditya Birla Group, have been named. Nair, according to the sources, had responded on lines similar to the one made by Singh in Parliament in which he had defended the coal blocks allocation and rejected charges of wrong doing.
Hindalco had denied allegations of irregularities, claiming, “we wish to state unambiguously that we have followed every process required for allocation of coal completely, as stipulated by the Government policy.” “This relates to media reports on an FIR naming Hindalco and our Chairman on coal issues. Apparently, this seems to be part of a larger case entailing coal allocation to companies, and being one of the companies, we are being investigated also,” it had said.
On Monday the CBI also questioned former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayana Rao in connection with Hindalco coal block allocation case.
With PTI Inputs
First Published: Monday, April 21, 2014, 18:00