CBI seeks Hindalco files from PMO.

CBI seeks Hindalco files from PMO.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), asking for records related to the allocation of coal blocks to Aditya Birla Group’s Hindalco. 

The letter came on a day when the CBI submitted a status report to the Supreme Court regarding the case. Sources said the CBI informed the apex court about a case registered against Kumar Mangalam Birla and former coal secretary P C Parakh.

With the PMO defending its action in a statement three days ago, CBI investigators said they had asked the office for all files regarding the allocation to Hindalco. The case had triggered a political storm after Parakh said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should also be named in the case as it was he who cleared the allocation. 

There were speculation that the CBI would file a closure report following the PMO’s statement. However, senior CBI officials said no such decision had been taken and investigations are underway.  

The Supreme Court will hear the case again and examine the status report on October 29. In the previous hearing on August 29, the CBI faced the ire of the apex court for conducting a tardy probe.

The CBI is expected to file more cases in the coal block allocations case against other companies. 

The FIR against Hindalco alleged that while recommendations of a screening committee, which rejected Hindalco’s application, were being approved by a “competent authority,” it received letters dated May 17, 2005, and June 17, 2005, from the Birlas, requesting allocation of Talabira II coal block, which were forwarded to the Coal Ministry.

It said Birla met Parakh in July 2005. “Pursuant to these letters and the meeting between Parakh and Birla, the former abused his official position and recommended the allocation of Talabira II along with Talabira III to Hindalco Industries without any valid basis or change in circumstances and with the sole intention to show undue favours,” it alleged. 

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