CBI to file status report on coalgate in SC tomorrow

May include details of FIR against Birla

CBI to file status report on coalgate in SC tomorrow

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) may inform the Supreme Court about its 14th first information report (FIR) against Hindalco and others in its latest status report in the coal scam on Tuesday.

The probe agency is also likely to submit a report detailing progress in the remaining 13 cases.

Sources said the details of the fresh FIR against Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, Hindalco and former coal secretary P C Parakh would be furnished before the apex court.

The sources said that the status of the investigation in the remaining matters, including those in which probe has been completed, would be conveyed to the apex court on October 22.

The CBI has registered 14 FIRs so far in connection with the alleged corruption in the allocation of coal blocks in which AMR Iron and Steel, JLD Yavatmal Energy, Vini Iron and Steel Udyog, JAS Infrastructure Capital Private Limited Ltd, Vikash Metals, Grace Industries, Gagan Sponge, Jindal Steel and Power, Rathi Steel and Power Limited, Jharkhand Ispat, Green Infrastructure, Kamal Sponge, Pushp Steel and Hindalco have been named as accused.

The sources said the agency would also give a status report on the preliminary enquiry registered by it in connection with the missing files.

The Supreme Court is monitoring the probe in the coal block allocation scam to
“restore the larger public interest and confidence of the people into a case of this magnitude”.

The court is scrutinising coal block allocations since 1993 on a bunch of PILs seeking cancellation of blocks on the grounds that rules were flouted in giving away the natural resources and that certain companies were favoured in the process.

In a recent hearing, the apex court also issued notices to seven coal mining states—Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal—to explain allocation policies adopted by them by October 29.

Meanwhile, the inter-ministerial group (IMG) on coal blocks is likely to meet this week to decide the fate of around 30 coal blocks.

Allottees of these 30 blocks were earlier issued show-cause notices for delaying production.

“The IMG is likely to meet this week. During the meeting we will examine the replies from the allottees of around 30 coal blocks which were issued show-cause notices,” a source close to the development said.

“After examining their replies, we will take a call on whether to go for deallocation or deduction of bank guarantee,” the source added.

The Coal Ministry is also likely to issue show-cause notices to allottees of seven mines, including ArcelorMittal, Sterlite Energy, Lanco and Reliance Energy which were jointly given one block, for not developing them on time, sources had earlier said.

The government had formed the IMG last year to review the progress of coal blocks allocated to firms for captive use and recommend action, including deallocation.
The panel under the chairmanship of additional secretary in the Coal Ministry has members from other ministries, including steel and power.

Scam files

* IAS officers’ association to approach high-level authorities to ensure honest bureaucrats are not hounded
* Inter-Ministerial Group likely to decide fate of around 30 coal blocks this week
* Minister Srikant Jena demands CBI probe into Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik’s recommendation for bauxite mines for Aditya Birla Group

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