STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 25 October
The CBI, which today received Coalgate files from the Prime Minister’s office, is likely to send a questionnaire to the PMO seeking certain clarifications related to coal block allocation to Hindalco.
According to sources, the CBI might write back to the PMO in the coming fortnight to seek more details. “But that would be decided only after we examine the files we have received from the PMO,” the officer said.
While handing over all the files related to the coal block allocated to Hindalco, the PMO has also asked the agency to specify if they need more data or information related to the allocation.
Earlier, the PMO had issued a two-page clarification on the allocation of Talabira coal blocks, and stated that Prime Minister was satisfied that the final decision taken in this regard was entirely appropriate and was based on the merits of the case placed before him. The PMO statement also maintained that the “competent authority” referred to in the FIR was the Prime Minister, Mr Manmohan Singh, who had been holding charge of coal ministry in the said period.
On Thursday, while returning from Beijing, Mr Manmohan Singh said he was “ready to face the CBI or for that matter any other agency as he had nothing to hide” on the coal block allocations scam.
In another disclosure, the former Coal Secretary, Mr P C Parakh, had apparently cautioned the PMO in 2005 of the coal mafia operating in the ministry. In a letter written to the PM in 2005, Mr Parakh had claimed that the Coal Ministry, then headed by Mr Shibu Soren, was funded by coal mafia. Last week, the CBI had accused Mr Parakh of involvement in coal block allocation to Hindalco.