New Delhi(PTI): The Special Court on Tuesday ordered Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to further investigate a coal scam case allegedly involving former coal secretary PC Parakh and industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla.
Special Judge also asked CBI to record the statement of Manmohan Singh. “I desire that statements of then coal minister (Manmohan Singh) be recorded,” Special Judge told the CBI.
The court also directed CBI to file status report of its further probe in the case on January 27.
On November 25 the CBI was asked by a Special Court as to whether it has examined former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was then holding coal portfolio, during its probe in the coal blocks allocation scam case involving top industrialist KM Birla, former coal secretary PC Parakh and others.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was holding the portfolio of coal ministry when Birla’s firm Hindalco was allocated coal blocks in Orissa’s Talabira II & III in 2005.
Earlier on November 10, CBI had told the court that there was “prima facie enough material” to proceed against some private parties and public servants in the case.
The Supreme Court-appointed special public prosecutor (SPP) RS Cheema for CBI had submitted before the judge that the court can take cognisance of the offences mentioned in the closure report as there was prima facie “evidence against the accused to show their involvement”.
The CBI’s stand seeking prosecution of the accused had come after the court, on September 12, questioned the agency for showing hurry in closing the case in which FIR was lodged against Birla, Parakh and others.
On October 21, the agency had filed a revised final 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 Odisha in 2005.
CBI had booked Birla, Parakh and other Hindalco officials 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”.
(With agency inputs)