Inter-Ministerial Group to examine 13 coal blocks

Even as the Coal Ministry asked the Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) to scrutinise the 13 coal blocks facing CBI probe, the Ministry said it had intensified search for the “missing files” sought by the premier investigating agency. Highly placed sources in the Ministry said Coal Secretary S.K. Srivastava has written to CBI Director Ranjit Kumar, seeking details of the files pertaining to allocation of coal blocks during 2006-09.

The CBI had complained to the Supreme Court at the last hearing that it was not getting full information and cooperation from the Ministry in getting the required files to carry out a smooth investigation into the Coalgate.

Following this, the government constituted an inter-ministerial search committee under a Joint Secretary to look for the missing files and get all information being sought by the CBI.

It is learnt that the Ministry has asked the IMG to scrutinise the 13 coal blocks in which 14 companies are facing probe and 13 FIRs/charge sheets filed. Out of the 13 blocks, two have already been de-allocated.

“The IMG has been asked to make its recommendations in those cases also where the CBI has filed FIRs/charge sheets. Prominent among them include Sterlite Ltd., GMR, Arcelor Mittal, Navbharat Power Ltd., Mukund Steel and Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd., Jindal Steel and power, Rathi Steel and Power, Pushp Steel and Mining and Jharkhand Ispat Pvt Ltd. We will take further action based on the recommendations of the IMG,” a senior Ministry official said.

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told journalists that the Ministry would ascertain whether any file was missing or was not being made available to the CBI. “I will talk to Mr. Srivastava whether there are such files which have not been made available to the CBI or are not traceable with us.”

Whatever documents available with the Ministry were handed over to the CBI. But, the CBI on Wednesday claimed that at least five crucial files related to allotment of coal blocks during 2006-09 were yet to be received by it