A status report filed by the CBI in the Supreme Court on Tuesday contains details of the recent First Information Report filed against industrialist Kumaramangalam Birla and the former Coal Secretary, P.C. Parakh, on allotment of two coal blocks in Odisha for Hindalco, according to sources in the investigating agency.
A note sent by the CBI to the Prime Minister’s Office seeking production of all files on the allocation of the two blocks in 2005 to the Birla-owned firm has also been included in the report.
The PMO had justified the allocation to Mr. Birla’s firm as appropriate and accepted that the Prime Minister had cleared the decision. The court will examine this status report, filed in a sealed cover, on October 29.
Among the details of the probe conducted till October 18 into coal blocks allocation are particulars of all 14 FIRs registered against various persons and criminal dimensions — the conspiracy and quid pro quo.
On September 26, the hearing could not proceed further when Attorney-General G.E. Vahanvati maintained that identification/allotment of coal blocks was only the first step and the subsequent procedure of granting mining leases had to be done by the States concerned. Accordingly, the court issued notice to Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal and asked senior-level officials to file response to four questions as well as to the petitions filed by Common Cause and advocate Manohar Lal Sharma by October 29.