CBI not to probe PM in ‘coalgate’

June 1st, 2012 - 7:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will not be scrutinised for alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks between 2006 and 2009, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said here Friday.

According to sources, the probe agency will ’scrutinise’ two points — misuse of allocation of coal blocks and misuse of coal blocks by private companies.

“The agency will scrutinise around 156 companies and 65 coal blocks during the investigation,” said a CBI source.

As part of the probe, the CBI has started verifying the allegations of irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks to private companies between 2006 and 2009 and the misuse by them.

“At present, it is just a reference and we are analysing it … if we find prima facie wrong-doing in the allocation, a preliminary inquiry will be registered and a formal investigation will begin,” said a senior CBI official.

The agency has been directed by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to probe the complaints related to alleged losses to the public exchequer in allocation of coal blocks. The coal blocks were allocated between 2006 and 2009.

The CVC directive comes after a complaint was filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs Prakash Javadekar and Hansraj Ahir, who have said that the Prime Minister was in charge of the coal ministry while most of the allocations were being done.

The complaints were sent to the CVC a month ago and correspond with the amplifying disagreement of civil society over the alleged failure of auctioning the coal blocks.

Earlier, a draft report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had stated that the government’s decision not to auction coal blocks has caused a loss of Rs.1.8 lakh crore to the public exchequer.

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