It looks like that some of the coal block allocation documents that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is looking for may never be found as they had not been maintained as record by the Union coal ministry. This fact was disclosed by the coal ministry in a reply to a parliamentary panel.
The coal ministry told the parliamentary standing committee on coal and steel that for the period between 1993 and 2004, or the pre-UPA era, "the applications were few and in some cases only one application against a block as identified by the applicant company were received. No such separate data was maintained in terms of number of applications received. However, details of applicants considered by the screening committee were mentioned in the minutes of the screening committee."
The parliamentary panel had reviewed the allotment, development and performance of coal and lignite blocks, and gave its report in April this year.