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CBI to wrap up coal blocks probe by Sept

The agency has registered a preliminary enquiry in June based on the CVC’s recommendations,and will need two months to wrap up its probe,said officials.

Written by Rahul Tripathi | New Delhi |
July 26, 2012 1:06:18 am

Stepping up its probe into the allocation of coal blocks,the CBI has begun questioning of the members of screening committees of the Ministry of Coal,who purportedly recommended the allocations of coal blocks to private companies between 2006 and 2009. The agency has registered a preliminary enquiry in June based on the CVC’s recommendations,and will need two months to wrap up its probe,said officials.

The members of the screening committee are being confronted with details of the companies which were recommended by them for allocation of coal blocks. The enquiry by CBI has revealed that 22 private companies were allocated the coal blocks,despite not meeting the requisite criteria. The agency said the number of such companies may go up as they are in the process of collecting financial status,area of operation,and management details. The agency will also summon Coal Ministry officials.

Seven screening committees recommended the allocations,and allotments were made with the PMO’s nod. The members in these committee included a state government representative.

“There is a prima facie evidence to register a regular case into the PE and we plan to finalise it by September. There is evidence to suggest that the companies which got the allotment did not fulfil the criteria. A large number of these companies changed hands once the allotments were made. Some of these firms were found to be dummy and front companies,” a CBI official said.

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