CBI rules out scrutinising PM's role

As the CAG report on coal allocation estimating loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore to the exchequer created political uproar, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which is probing the issue negated any possibility of scrutinising the role of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in connection with the controversy.

“CBI is investigating the alleged irregularities in the utilisation of coal blocks The agency does not have any mandate to look into the policy issues, so, no question of scrutinising PM’s role,” a senior official of CBI told Deccan Herald.

The officer further asserted that the probe by the country’s premier investigating agency is primarily focused on the alleged irregularities in utilisation of coal blocks and extraction of the mineral by the allottee companies between 2006 and 2009.

Earlier in the day, in its report tabled in Parliament, the CAG said that lack of transparency in the allocation of coal blocks to private players resulted in a whopping loss to the national exchequer.

The main opposition party – BJP held Prime Minister “personally” responsible for the alleged bungling in coal allocation and demanded resignation.

The CBI registered a Preliminary Enquiry in the issue on June 1, 2012 after the Central Vigilance Commission forwarded the complaint of BJP leaders Prakash Javadekar and Hansraj Ahir in which they had alleged that first-come-first-serve basis was adopted by the government to benefit some private companies.

In their complaint, the BJP leaders had said that the prime minister was in charge of the Coal Ministry, while most of the allocations were being done.

The CBI officer also informed that the agency will submit its report to the CVC in the first week of September.

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