Nair was the principal secretary to the Prime Minister during 2006-09, when Singh held the coal ministry portfolio. The agency has already examined two other former Prime Minister’s Office officials —Vini Mahajan and Ashish Gupta.
Nair’s statement will be treated as a witness testimony about allocation-related alleged irregularities during 2006-9, including inept verification of claims related to basic criteria made in the application and feedback forms by coal block applicant firms accused of misrepresentations by the CBI in 13 of its scam cases. The agency is also seeking to determine at what level the verification-related lapses occurred in the inter-play among the coal ministry, the inter-ministerial screening committee, the PMO and the states.
HT had first reported on Wednesday that the CBI would seek Nair’s version before March 28, by when it is set to submit five more chargesheets. CBI has so far filed a single chargesheet, against a Hyderabad-based firm and its two top officials for allegedly misrepresenting facts in their application for getting coal blocks in 2008.