Ex coal secy Parakh appears before CBI for questioning

Ex coal secy Parakh appears before CBI for questioning

Ex coal secy Parakh appears before CBI for questioning

Former Coal Secretary P C Parakh today appeared before CBI officials for questioning in connection with a case of allegedly abusing his official position to grant an Odisha-based coal block to Hindalco.

"I have already said what I had to say. Let me see what they want to ask," Parakh told reporters before entering the CBI headquarters here.

The CBI had served a fresh summon to the former IAS officer seeking his appearance today. Parakh had expressed inability to appear before the probe agency officials on April 25.

69-year-old Parakh, who retired as Coal Secretary in December 2005, has been accused of abusing his official position to grant a coal block to Hindalco, an Aditya Birla Group company, in a CBI FIR.

CBI had last year registered a case against Parakh, Birla and unnamed officials of Hindalco and the Coal Ministry. Birla and Hindalco have denied allegations of irregularities.

The agency has alleged that during 2005, these persons had entered into a criminal conspiracy and the then public servant (Parakh) abused his position and showed undue favour to the Odisha-based industry in allocation of Talabira II and Talabira III coal blocks.

CBI has also quizzed former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao and the Prime Minister's Advisor T K A Nair in the case.

According to the FIR, Neyveli Lignite Limited was to be given Talabira II coal block but Parakh allegedly favoured Hindalco and allowed it to share the block with Neyveli leading to notional loss to the exchequer.

Parakh has denied any quid pro quo as alleged by CBI in its FIR about his meeting with Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of Aditya Birla group of companies, and also maintained that there was no pressure exerted by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in clearing the deal in favour of the Birla group.

CBI has also completed examining top executives of the Rs 2.4-lakh-crore Birla company in connection with the allocation, sources said, adding.

However, no decision to summon the group's chairman has been taken so far.

Parakh was in news recently after release of his book on coal blocks allocation in which he had questioned the rationale of the CBI to name him and Kumar Mangalam Birla.