Allocation of coal blocks: CBI won’t probe politicians

The CBI registered a preliminary enquiry into allegations regarding the allotment of coal blocks but a senior official of the investigating agency

Written by Rahul Tripathi | New Delhi | Published: June 2, 2012 3:45 am

The CBI on Friday registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) into allegations regarding the allotment of coal blocks but a senior official of the investigating agency said they were not looking into the ‘policy matters’ and won’t carry out a probe against any politician.

The agency also said that they have contacted the Coal Ministry seeking details of the companies which were allocated coal between 2006 and 2009.

BJP leader and MP Prakash Javadekar,who had filed a petition with the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC),had raised the issue of coal allocation by the ministry between 2006 and 2009 when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was handling the ministry.

The CVC had forwarded the complaint to the CBI.

A PE is registered before registering a regular First Information Report. However,during the initial probe it does not have powers to question,search or arrest a suspect.

Sources said the CBI registered the PE against unknown officials of the Coal Ministry and some companies who allegedly received allotments and then diverted the same to others at a higher price. The agency said that they are probing the “utilization of coal blocks” allotted to the private companies.

CBI officials said that apart from the list of companies,they would also seek the details of the ministry officials who were handling the files and cleared the allocations. They will also verify how many of the companies which were allotted the coal blocks started mining operations within the time limit.

“There have been some instances in which it has been alleged that few companies have mined but did not use the coal for the purpose for which they were allotted the coal blocks and instead sold in the market,” said a CBI official.

The probe will also focus on some companies which were allotted coal blocks and have transferred their coal blocks effectively via dilution of equity route. The agency is likely to complete the probe into its PE within three months and take a decision then to register a case or not.

Javadekar’s complaint also alleged that there was a delay of nearly two years in auctioning process,claining that the ministry did so to benefit some private players.

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