Sources said that some of the top executives of the Aditya Birla Group were called in connection with allocation of the Talabira-II coal block.

Probe into alleged irregularities in allocation of Talabira-II coal block has gained momentum as the CBI has started questioning top executives of the Aditya Birla Group and is likely to quiz former Coal Secretary P.C. Parakh next week.

Official sources said that some of the top executives of Birla group company Hindalco were called in connection with the allocation of the coal block in Odhisa.

While there was no decision immediately to summon the group’s chairman Kumarmanglam Birla, the sources said that 68-year-old Mr. Parakh is likely to be questioned next week.

The CBI had registered a case naming 46-year-old Mr. Birla, Mr. Parakh and unknown officials of Hindalco and the Coal Ministry in 2013 under various sections pertaining to criminal conspiracy and corruption for alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks nine years back.

The decision to call executives of the Birla group was taken after a senior PMO T.K.A. Nair was examined about the entire coal scam especially on Talabira-II.

Mr. Nair, who had replied to a CBI questionnaire, had denied any wrongdoing in allocation of coal blocks to Hindalco.

Registering of a case against Mr. Birla and Mr. Parakh was criticised by India Inc and former bureaucrats.

The sources said that after completing the investigations in the case, the CBI would take a decision whether the agency should file a charge sheet or move a closure report in the court.

Hindalco has been denying allegations of irregularities. “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.

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