Top honcho in coal scam
Top Honcho in Coal Scam, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Coal Secretary P C Parekh, Coal Scam. The CBI on Tuesday registered FIRs against industrialist Kumar...
Kumar Birla, Parekh booked in Coalgate .
• CBI files FIR, conducting raids at several places
• Birla group co Hindalco shares take a beating
• SC monitoring probe into coal block allotments during UPA-I
• Manmohan Singh was in-charge of coal ministry
The CBI on Tuesday registered FIRs against industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and former Coal Secretary P C Parekh in the coal scam. Kumara Mangalam Birla’s name figures for landing a coal block in Odisha. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held the portfolio of the coal ministry during the UPA-I, for which the BJP has been demanding his resignation.
The coal blocks allotment case is being directly monitored by the Supreme Court. In connection with the case, the CBI teams are also raiding various places including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar and Hyderabad. Both Kumara Mangalam Birla and P C Parekh have been accused of criminal conspiracy and corruption in connection with alleged irregularities in allocation of coal blocks. According to CBI sources, the 46-year-old head of Aditya Birla group will be called in for questioning.
The agency has booked Birla as a representative of Aditya Birla Group and his group company, aluminium maker Hindalco, for alleged corruption in the allocation of Talabira two coal blocks in Odisha which was allotted to it on November 10, 2005, they said. The coal blocks were allocated for power production during a meeting of Screening Committee.
The CBI has been at the receiving end in the Supreme Court, which has posed tough questions on why coal fields were allocated to private players, without a transparent bidding process, the slow pace of probe as also on missing files.
CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad said, “The CBI registered a fresh case in alleged irregularities in coal scam against the then Coal Secretary, M/s Hindalco, representative of Aditya Birla Group, unknown persons and officials.” The Birla Group, considered Rs 2.45 lakh crore conglomerate, denied receiving any FIR and refuted allegations of any wrongdoing.
The CBI action had immediate fallout, with Hindalco shares dropping in the morning by 1.27 per cent. Some of the other Birla companies were also affected.
Former Coal Secretary P C Parekh faces charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act, as also criminal conspiracy and other offences.