statesman news service
NEW DELHI, 10 JUNE: The government&’s refusal to allow questioning of senior IAS officials in the Coalgate scam notwithstanding, the Central Bureau of Investigation is sticking to its stand and will explore other possibilities to get permission to question the officials.
According to CBI officers, the agency has sought legal opinion on what to do after the government&’s refusal to grant permission to question the former coal secretary, Mr H C Gupta, who was considered to be a crucial link in the coal block allocations.
The CBI has also sought to question some senior officials who were in the Prime Minister’s Office during the coal blocks allocation. The CBI may ask Mr T K A Nair, who was principal secretary in the PMO at the time, and Vini Mahajan, former director in the PMO, to join the investigation into the irregularities in coal block allocations, sources said.
The CBI is also planning to question three former coal ministry secretaries in relation to the coal block allocations. “The questioning of senior coal ministry officials and PMO officials, who were dealing with files related to coal blocks would help the agency in its investigation and in getting a broader picture of the scam,” sources said.
The CBI has shortlisted over half a dozen officials who have worked in the PMO and coal ministry, who would be asked to join the probe once it gets permission from the Union government, sources said. The CBI has registered 11 cases in the coalgate scam and grilled a few former ministers and businessmen. The CBI had started investigation of the coal case after the adverse remarks in a CAG report that claimed a revenue loss of Rs 1.86 crore by not auctioning the coal blocks.