Former Coal Secretary P.C. Parakh has failed to explain the reasons for allotting coal block to Hindalco after rejecting it earlier, CBI claimed on Friday amid indications that the agency will register fresh cases soon in connection with Coalgate.
The agency, which is probing the entire gamut of coal block allocation from 1993 onwards, is expected to register more cases before October 29 when it would be submitting its status report before the Supreme Court.
After registering 14 FIRs, the CBI is still probing three preliminary enquiries — for allocation of coal blocks between 1993-2004, 2006-09 and awarding of contracts for formation of joint ventures by government companies under the ’Government Dispensation Category’ from 1993 onwards.
Highly placed sources in the agency said that Mr. Parakh was examined before registering a case against Hindalco during which he was asked about the reasons for reversing the decision to reject the company’s application.
The sources claimed that Mr. Parakh could not explain under what circumstances he changed his own “considered” view and allowed Hindalco to get a pie in Talabira II and III coal blocks in Odisha which were allocated to PSUs — Mahanadi Coalfields and Neyveli Lignite and hence his name was included in the FIR.
Mr. Parakh has held that there was nothing wrong with the decision as Hindalco was the first applicant and equally competent to get the coal block.
The former bureaucrat, who has been praised by the CAG as whistleblower, had, however, contended that “... if there is a conspiracy, then there are different members in this conspiracy. There is K M Birla who made the representation, he is one conspirator. I, who examined the case and made a recommendation, I can be another conspirator and the Prime Minister, who as the Coal Minister, took the final decision is the third conspirator.”
CBI has alleged in its FIR that after rejection of Hindalco’s plea in 2005, Birla wrote two letters and held a personal meeting with Parakh, after which the decision was reversed.
They said FIR has named Mr. Parakh and Aditya Birla group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla because it was a case of alleged misuse of official position.
The sources said if no malafide is found during the probe, the case would be closed and Supreme Court would be informed about it.