Coal scam: CBI seeks time for clarifications on case against Kumar Mangalam Birla, others

Court had pulled up CBI for ‘dumping’ illegible documents in coal block allocation cases

New Delhi: CBI on Monday sought more time in a Delhi court to give clarifications on queries posed to it in connection with a closure report filed in coal block allocation case in which an FIR was lodged against top industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and others.

Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) R S Cheema told Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar that the DIG and SP concerned were not available and therefore, he needed some more time to address the arguments in the matter.

The court allowed the submission of Cheema and posted the matter for hearing on October 13.

"SPP seeks more time before addressing arguments. Put up the matter for October 13," the judge said. The court was hearing the closure report filed by CBI in its FIR lodged against Birla, former Coal Secretary P C Parakh and others.

On September 12, the court had asked CBI as to what was the hurry in closing the case in which FIR was registered against Birla, Parakh and others.

The observation of the court had come after the investigating officer (IO) in the case had contended that the original minutes of meeting of screening committee, in which

Birla-owned Hindalco's application seeking allocation of coal blocks was dealt with, were "missing".

The agency had told the court that it has already lodged a PE (preliminary enquiry) regarding the missing documents.

CBI had on August 28 filed a closure report in the case. The FIR against Birla, Parakh and others was registered in October last year by CBI, which 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".

The FIR relates to allocation of Talabira II and III coal blocks in 2005. CBI had booked Birla, Parakh and other officials of Hindalco under various IPC sections, including criminal conspiracy and criminal misconduct on the part of government officials.

In its FIR, the agency had alleged that during the 25th Screening Committee meeting, chaired by Parakh, applications of Hindalco and Indal Industries were rejected for mining in Talabira II and III "citing valid reasons".

( Source : PTI )
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