CBI dismisses CAG report absolving Parakh of favouring Birla by FP Staff Oct 16, 2013
Hours after former coal secretary PC Parakh asserted that the PM was the final decision maker and must be counted as ‘conspirator’ in the coal block allocation scam, the CBI told CNBC- TV18 that it had sufficient evidence to prove Parakh overturned the screening committee’s decision to favour Aditya Birla Group.
“We have evidence on record that it was Parakh who overturned Screening Committee’s decision and coal block was allotted to Birlas. This is the initial stage of investigation and chance will be given to all accused to defend themselves at the time of their statement.
This is an Supreme Court monitored investigation and we are going by rule book,” a CBI source told CNBC-TV18. The source dismissed a CAG report absolving Parakh of the charge and said that Parakh’s alleged favouritism has been established in the initial stage of the investigation itself. Reuters Parakh today hit out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying if he is to be blamed for the scam, then the PM too is an accused.
The former coal secretary pointed out that he had been given a stamp of approval by the Comptroller and Auditor General for his functioning. Citing the Comptroller and Auditor General report of August 2012, he said CAG had lauded him for opposing the present system of allocating coal blocks and pointed out that he had differences on many policy matters with the PM and the Coal Minister but was overruled. Following Prakh’s accusation, the BJP too termed his remarks as “not surprising” and said he should make public of how allotments were made when PM was incharge of Coal Ministry. “The time has come for Parakh to speak up. He has spoken a little, he should come out clean now, make public statements of how files were disposed off at that time (when the PM was incharge of Coal Ministry),” party leader Yashwant Sinha said today.
On Tuesday, an FIR was filed against Parakh, Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, his group company Hindalco and public sector undertaking Nalco for alleged irregularities in allocation of coal mining rights in 2005. A case of cheating, forgery and financial misrepresentation have been filed. The CBI has alleged that the company’s belonging to Birla’s conglomerate was wrongfully allocated the Talabira II coal block in Jasukuda district of Orissa in 2005. Earlier Congress MP and industrialist Naveen Jindal was summoned by the CBI in September and was subjected to some intense scrutiny. Jindal has been named as an accused in the twelfth FIR of the CBI in coal scam. The CBI in its FIR has said that Naveen’s company, Jindal Group, was not recommended by the Jharkhand government. The FIR also accused him of misrepresentation of facts.