Enquiry into 22 coal blocks allocated between 1993-2005

The CBI has informed the Supreme Court that it has closed its enquiry into 22 coal block allocations, which were made from 1993 to 2005, with the approval of the chief vigilance commissioner.

The probe agency, in its 18th status report filed before the apex court in coal block allocation scam cases last month, has said that it had registered 16 regular cases covering 21 coal blocks during the period 1993-2005. The top court is monitoring the probe in the coal scam cases.

“In respect of 43 coal blocks (during 1993-2005), CBI had registered 16 regular cases covering 21 coal blocks. Enquiry has been closed in respect of the balance 22 coal blocks. This has the approval of the Chief Vigilance Commissioner,” a bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur noted in its order.

“It is stated (by the CBI) that enquiry into all 43 coal blocks (during 1993-2005) have been completed. In fact there were initially 45 coal blocks under consideration, but two coal blocks relate to government dispensation route. These are, therefore, not considered under this heading,” the bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri, noted.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has also given the status of 16 regular cases lodged by it in connection with coal block allocations during this period.

It told the top court that out of these 16 cases, final reports have been filed in seven while investigation was complete in one case but final report was yet to be filed.

The agency said that prosecution sanction was awaited in one case while another was under “active consideration”.

The CBI informed the court that field investigation was complete in six cases but “comments and scrutiny” were awaited.

It has also given the status of cases lodged by it for coal blocks allocations during the period 2006 to 2009 which pertains to 168 companies.

During the hearing in the matter on January 15, the bench had expressed its displeasure over the tardy pace of probe by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in coal scam cases.

“You have given us 11 reports of Enforcement Directorate and 18 reports of CBI. We must say, the progress in the investigation has been slow. Even today, when we see the 18th report of CBI, it says one case is pending,” the bench had observed.

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