Direct CBI to include PM in coal scam FIR, SC urged

Posted on October 17, 2013 from New Delhi ι Report #6

New Delhi, Oct 17 (IANS) The Supreme Court was moved Thursday seeking direction to the CBI to add the name of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the FIR naming industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and then coal secretary P.C. Parakh in the allocation of coal blocks in Odisha for Hindalco.

In his petition, advocate M.L. Sharma contended that the Odisha coal blocks could not have been issued to Hindalco in 2005 without the approval of Manmohan Singh who then was holding the charge of the coal ministry.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in its FIR said Parakh while allocating the Odisha coal blocks to Hindalco, part of the Aditya Birla Group, had reversed the decision of the screening committee to allocate Odisha coal blocks to public sector company Neyveli Lignite.

The probe agency has cited the meeting between Birla and Parakh in July 2005 and a letter written by the industrialist in May 2005 as a basis for allocating the coal blocks to Hindalco which the screening committee, headed by Parakh, had earlier allocated to Neyveli Lignite.

Sharma has also sought direction to the CBI to included the names of those ministers who had "recommended, considered and allotted coal blocks to the parties concerned" in an irregular way as they attracted the provision of Prevention of Corruption Act.

The apex court is hearing a PIL by Sharma seeking the cancellation of coal blocks that were allocated to different concerns in an irregular manner in breach of the rules and procedures. The next hearing is Oct 29.