A day after the Centre virtually ruled out any probe into the allotment of coal blocks, it transpired the CBI is already looking into the allegations of wrong-doing in the matter.
"A reference has been received from the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) with regard to complaints on allotment of coal blocks by the ministry of coal between 2006 and 2009. We are verifying the contents of the complaints. We will proceed further only after the verification," said a senior CBI official.
The CBI verification assumes significance since the coal ministry was directly under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during 2006 and 2009. Team Anna has alleged that arbitrary allocation of coal blocks was done during this period in a bid to allow certain private companies to make huge profits.
According to CBI sources, the reference from the CVC reached the CBI a few days back. So far no preliminary enquiry or FIR has been filed in the matter. The complaint received has alleged that some private companies outsourced the coal blocks allotted to them in violation of government rules.
Besides the Team Anna, the Opposition is also gunning for the government on the issue. One of the complainants in the matter was BJP Lok Sabha MP Hansraj Ahir. "I had given a complaint to the CVC. The CVC has sent me an acknowledgment saying that my complaint is being looked into," said Ahir.
Besides Ahir, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar was another complainant before the CVC in this regard.
To blunt the attack of Team Anna and opposition, the Prime Minister's Office had issued a clarification on Wednesday. The statement said: "The allocation of coal blocks to private sector companies is only for captive use and not for sale or commercial use of coal."
It also clarified the coal blocks for captive end use were allotted on the basis of recommendations of a screening committee, which followed a transparent procedure giving equal opportunity to all applicants.