The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), while endorsing the former Coal Secretary, P.C. Parakh’s decision to allot coal blocks to Hindalco, has clearly sought to distance itself from some other aspects of the CBI investigation into his conduct. A PMO spokesperson clarified that the government had nothing to do with the CBI probe into certain companies in the coal mining business where Mr. Parakh was a director.
For instance, the CBI is looking at a possible quid pro quo angle in the case of allotment of coalmines to a Hyderabad-based company Navbharat Power Ltd. in 2008. The company, in which Mr. Parakh joined as a director in 2007, applied for a coalmine the same year and got the allotment in January 2008.
Mr. Parakh has defended himself, saying he had retired from the Coal Ministry as Secretary in 2005, and after a prescribed cooling off period of two years, became director of Navbharat in 2007.