Coal: Cong MPs call for CBI probe since ’93
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To counter the BJP's attack over the alleged malpractices in the allocation of coal blocks between 2004-09, seven Lok Sabha MPs of the Congress have urged the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to ask the CBI to probe allotments of all coal blocks since 1993.
The CVC is understood to be preparing to convey the investigating agency to widen the ambit of its probe. By this the probe will also cover the period during which the BJP-led NDA government was in power.
The CBI is currently investigating about 58 companies for their alleged role in garnering coal blocks through unfair means. It has already filed five FIRs on September 3 and is understood to soon file the second batch of FIRs.
Earlier, the CVC had asked the CBI to probe into the allocation following complaints by BJP leaders Prakash Javadekar and Hansraj Ahir.
In a letter to CVC Pradip Kumar, written on September 5, seven Congress MPs cited the CAG report, which quoted the coal ministry's statement that till 2004 there was no clear criteria for allocation of coal mines, most of which were allocated to applicants who produced letters of recommendations from the coal-rich states.
"It therefore appears that all coal blocks allotted since 1993 should be investigated by the CBI specially probing the system through which states selected private companies," the MPs said in their letter.
They said that the CBI should ascertain the system used by the states in selecting firms for coal block allocations between 1993-2004.
They also wrote to coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on September 14 demanding CBI inquiry into coal block allocations from 1993. "I have forwarded their letter to the CVC. Let the CBI investigate the coal block allocations issue in totality. Let the truth come out," Jaiswal said.
They alleged that states, especially the governments of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa have clandestinely given mines to private players through the JV route and no system of fairplay.
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