The CBI is likely to approach government afresh for permission to question former Coal Secretary H. C. Gupta in connection with its probe in the multi-crore coal block allocation scam, said sources.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs had earlier turned down the investigating agency’s request to quiz Mr. Gupta.

Sources said the CBI may give a fresh proposal to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which acts as a nodal administrative department for the agency, to allow its officers to question Mr. Gupta.

Mr. Gupta was Secretary in the Ministry of Coal between 2006 and 2009, a period which has come under the scanner of the CBI for alleged irregularities in the grant of coal blocks to private companies, they said.

Mr. Gupta, a 1971 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, is presently a member of Competition Commission of India (CCI).

Sources also said the CBI would be telling the court about the government’s decision in not allowing Gupta to be questioned and take necessary directions.

The CBI, which is probing the coal block allocation scam, has registered 11 FIRs related to alleged irregularities in the allotment coal blocks between 2006 and 2009.

During this period, 68 coal blocks were allotted to 151 companies and the files on some of them had gone missing.

The CBI has so far questioned former Union Ministers Santosh Bagrodia and D. Narayan Rao, and Congress MP Vijay Darda.

The agency has booked Vinni Iron and Steel, Nav Bharat Steel, JLD Yavatmal, JAS Infrastructure and Power and AMR Iron and Steel, Vikash Metal and Power Ltd, Grace Industries Ltd, Green Infrastructure and Kamal Steel for alleged cheating, forgery and misrepresentation of facts in their applications for coal blocks.

The CAG had pegged the loss to the exchequer due to this to the tune of Rs 1.86 lakh crore.

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