In the wake of directions issued by the Supreme Court in the coal blocks allocation case on Wednesday, the Central Bureau of Investigation said it would follow them in letter and in spirit.
“The CBI assures the Supreme Court of a thorough and quantitative investigation as desired,” said a statement released by the agency soon after the court made scathing observations against officials of the Law Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office.
Since September 2012, the agency has registered 11 cases in connection with alleged irregularities in the coal blocks allocations to private companies, some of which had allegedly benefited immensely by selling off a majority of shares at higher rates.
Members of the screening committees, which had processed the applications, had been questioned by the CBI as it found that the supporting documents submitted by the companies to prove their net worth were apparently not cross-checked. The companies had misrepresented facts to bag the coal blocks.
Even as the probe is under way, the agency concluded that no proper procedures were followed and yardsticks formulated for the coal blocks allocations during 2006 and 2009.
Although no arrests had been made in any of the cases, the CBI has said the probe will be expedited. The agency had earlier collected from the Coal Ministry a cache of documents pertaining to the allotments made to the companies.
However, CBI sources said that till last month the agency had not been provided with many crucial documents. “Appropriate legal proceedings will be initiated against the accused persons and companies after a thorough study of the allocation papers and examination of those involved in the process,” said an official.