Coal blocks scam: CBI wants files, but ministry has only pointed replies

FrontThe CBI is investigating the alleged irregularities in the allotment of coal blocks.

The coal ministry is yet to submit to the CBI key files that had comparisons of candidates who applied for coal blocks before the controversial allotments were made.

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Instead, it has only given specific replies to the investigating agency's questions about information contained in these files.

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The CBI, which is investigating the alleged irregularities in the allotment of coal blocks between 1993 and 2004, had given the coal ministry a list of documents it needed to expedite its probe.

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For instance, it had asked for a key file on a report prepared by Coal India on the financial strength of applicant companies. But in return, it only got a specific reply from the ministry.

Similarly, another file about a report of the PSU's financial experts on coal blocks is said to be missing. But the ministry has told the CBI that it has furnished a specific reply to this as well.

Sources in the CBI said both these reports were presented at the 35th meeting of the Screening Committee on September 13, 2007, which had examined the allotment of 15 blocks.

While the coal ministry has only furnished an interim reply to the CBI on the missing file on the final minutes of the 26th Screening Committee meeting, it also does not have a copy of the presentation made by Rathi Steel and Power at the screening panel meeting of December 7, 2007.

The ministry is yet to submit documents relating to the allotment of nearly 16 blocks and has asked ministries such as steel, power, industry and the Planning Commission to help trace them.

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