CBI to approach govt afresh to quiz ex-coal secretary

Ministry of Corporate Affairs had last week turned down the investigating agency's request to quiz Gupta.

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Published: June 4, 2013 1:49:09 pm

The CBI is likely to approach government afresh for permission to question former Coal Secretary H C Gupta in connection with its probe in the multi-crore coal blocks allocation scam.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs had last week turned down the investigating agency’s request to quiz Gupta. Sources said CBI may give a fresh proposal to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT),which acts as a nodal administrative department for the agency,to allow its officers to question Gupta.

Gupta was Secretary in the Ministry of Coal between 2006-2009,a period which has come under the scanner of CBI for alleged irregularities in grant of coal blocks to private companies,they said. Gupta,a 1971 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre,is presently a member of Competition Commission of India(CCI).

The sources said CBI would be telling the court about the decision of the government for not allowing Gupta to be questioned and take necessary directions. CBI,which is probing the coal block allocation scam,has registered 11 FIRs related to alleged irregularities in the allotment coal blocks between 2006 and 2009.

During this period,68 coal blocks were alloted to 151 companies and files of some of them had gone missing. CBI has so far questioned former Union Ministers Santosh Bagrodia and D Narayan Rao and Congress MP in Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda.

The agency has booked Vinni Iron and Steel,Nav Bharat Steel,JLD Yavatmal,JAS Infrastructure and Power and AMR Iron and Steel,Vikash Metal and Power Ltd,Grace Industries Ltd,Green Infrastructure and Kamal Steel for alleged cheating,forgery and misrepresentation of facts in their applications for coal blocks.

CAG had pegged the loss to the exchequer due to allocation of the coal blocks to the tune of Rs 1.86 lakh crore.

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