CBI closes coal case involving Birla

CBI closes coal case involving Birla

The CBI has decided to file closure report in coal scam case in which business tycoon Kumaramangalam Birla and former coal secretary P C Parakh were named.  The agency said the allocation was done in the “larger interest” of the country.

The agency informed the court that evidence collected during investigation did not substantiate the allegations levelled against the people named in the FIR.

The CBI said it would file documents related to the case before it after which Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar fixed September 1 for considering the report. The closure report was filed in the court on Thursday.

The CBI registered a case relating to allocation of Talabira-II and III coal blocks to Birla group company, Hindalco, on October 14 last year against Birla, Parakh and others. The agency’s decision had invited sharp criticism from corporates as well as the bureaucracy.

The agency had talked of irregularities in the allocation of the coal blocks to Hindalco.

However, in its closure report, the agency said the decision to accommodate Hindalco in partial modification of the recommendation of the 25th meeting of the screening committee was found to be a case of incorporating the views of the screening committee and the Odisha government.

“It is taken in larger interest of the country and in view of the federal legal framework wherein most of the statutory clearances are accorded by the concerned state government,” it said.

It said the Odisha government had also supported the case of Hindalco in pursuance to an MoU signed with it to set up an Aluminium Refinery for which a captive power plant was proposed to be set up in Odisha.

“The allegation that the proposed 2,000 MW power project of Odisha based company could not take off as planned on account of accommodating Mumbai based company in Talabira-II coal block was also not substantiated by investigation,” the CBI said.

In its FIR, the CBI had alleged that Parakh had reversed his decision to reject coal block allocation to Hindalco within months “without any valid basis or change in circumstances” and shown “undue favours”.

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