The Central Bureau of Investigation, which on Tuesday wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office seeking documents on a coal block allocation to Hindalco Industries, had earlier said it would probe all aspects of the case to decide the further course of action.
In the FIR, the CBI alleges that the 25th Screening Committee rejected Hindalco's application, citing valid reasons, but the decision was overturned and the allocation approved by the competent authority.
A CBI spokesperson earlier said that during the second Preliminary Enquiry instituted on suspected irregularities in the allocations between 1993 and 2011-12, “we found that the Talabira II and Talabira III coal blocks in [Odisha’s district of] Jharsuguda were to be allocated only to PSUs. Accordingly, the 25th Screening Committee recommended the allocation of Talabira II to the Neyveli Lignite Corporation and the contiguous Talabira III block was allocated to Mahanadi Coalfields Limited.”
But, according to the CBI, industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla wrote two letters seeking the allocation for his company, Hindalco, and then held a meeting with former Coal Secretary, P. C. Parakh in July 2005. Subsequent to that meeting, Hindalco was accommodated in Talabira II along with NLC and granted mining rights.
The agency alleges that Mr. Parakh abused his official position and recommended the allocation of Talabira II along with Talabira III to Hindalco without any valid basis.