CBI begins probe into coal scam

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday initiated a ‘preliminary enquiry' (PE) into alleged irregularities in the use of coal blocks allotted to private companies between 2006 and 2009.

The move comes after the Central Vigilance Commission on Thursday asked the CBI to look into the issue following complaints by two BJP MPs.

Though the PE has been registered against unknown persons, CBI officials said the probe would primarily focus on the alleged irregularities which occurred between 2006 and 2009.

The CVC forwarded to the CBI the complaints from Prakash Javadekar and Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, who alleged that under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was also Coal Minister then , the government did not follow the auction route and allocated coal blocks to benefit certain private firms.

“In the coal blocks allocation scam, 1,700 crore tonnes of coal worth Rs. 51 lakh crore was given to 143 companies between 2006 and 2009 at throwaway prices … a bribe of Rs.100 per tonne was paid. Scam worth Rs.1.73-lakh crore has taken place in the allocation of these coal blocks,” Mr. Javadekar told The Hindu.

“And all this happened when the Prime Minister was also Coal Minister… How can he say he was not aware of the scam? We are happy that the CVC has taken cognisance of our complaint,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 4:41:31 AM |

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