CBI files another status report on coal scam probe

aaThe Central Bureau of Investigation will on Monday file its fresh status report on coalgate before the Supreme Court.
Notably, the CBI has found no criminality in the allocation of about 60 coal blocks, which are likely to be taken out of the purview of its ongoing probe after taking the Supreme Court’s permission.

Although the agency has analysed the records in detail and concluded there was no criminality involved in the allocation of these coal blocks, a final decision whether to take them out of the ongoing probe would be taken after directives of the Supreme Court, sources said.

The sources said 195 coal blocks allocations are being probed out of which in 16 cases CBI has found prima facie material which indicates cheating, criminal misconduct and corruption based on which the agency has registered FIRs. However, during the analysis of nearly 60 allocations, records were found to be correct and no deviation from the laid down norms and procedures was detected.

During the inquiry, the agency analysed reports from the state governments, interested ministries, minutes of the screening committee and forms and documents submitted by the beneficiary companies, the sources said. Some of the executives of these companies were also called in by the agency and they were able to explain all the questions raised by the investigating team, the sources said.

The CBI has filed 16 FIRs against AMR Iron and Steel, JLD Yavatmal Energy, Vini Iron and Steel Udyog, JAS Infrastructure Capital Pvt Ltd, Vikash Metals, Grace Industries, Gagan Sponge, Jindal Steel and Power, Rathi Steel and Power Ltd, Jharkhand Ispat, Green Infrastructure, Kamal Sponge, Pushp Steel, Hindalco, BLA Industries, Castron Technologies and Castron Mining.

All these FIRs are rooted in three preliminary enquiries related to coal block allocation–between 2006 and 2009, 1993 and 2004, and projects given under the government dispensation scheme.

There are two other preliminary enquiries which are related to missing files. The agency is also likely to state before the apex court that almost all the relevant files related to coal block allocation scams have been received by it and the enquiries into the issue might be closed, the sources said.

They said so far no evidence has surfaced which shows criminality or intentional act on part of Coal Ministry officials to withhold files from the investigating agency.

The agency has concluded probe in nearly six FIRs and a final report could soon be filed before the competent court, they said, adding that any chargesheet or closure report would only be filed after the Supreme Court’s directives.

The slow CBI probe into the coal scam had come under sharp criticism of the court, which had said the agency was still in the “first gear” and needed to pick up speed.

“You (CBI) have to pick up some speed. The pace of inquiry is not good. You are still driving in the first gear. Yours is a huge task and all these need to reach a logical conclusion,” a bench headed by Justice RM Lodha had said.

(Source: IANS)

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