The CBI on Thursday questioned former coal secretary HC Gupta for the alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks from 2006 to 2009.
According to the source, the agency investigators quizzed the retired 1971-batch IAS officer about the allocation of coal blocks when he had headed the inter-ministerial 35th and 36th screening committees.
The CBI called Gupta, who recently quit as a member of the Competition Commission of India, for questioning after acquiring sanction from the government to initiate a probe against him.
"We questioned the former coal secretary for around five hours on allegations that a few accused coal block recipients had been favoured in the allocation and that their applications were not put aside despite misrepresentations and concealments," said a CBI source. Gupta denied the allegations, according to the source.
Today, Gupta was asked specifically about three allegedly irregular allocation of captive coal blocks to three firms — Nagpur-based AMR Iron & Steel Private Limited and JLD Yavatmal Energy Limited and Kolkata-based JAS Infrastructure Capital Private Limited— named in three separate FIRs registered by the CBI on September 3 last year along with "unknown public servants", said the source.
Among the directors of the three accused firms mentioned in the CBI FIRs were businessman Manoj Jayaswal and Lokmat Group's chairman and Congress Rajya Sabha member Vijay Darda.
During Gupta's tenure, 68 coal blocks were allocated to 151 firms.