The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has prepared a list of eight private companies which were allocated coal blocks between 2006 and 2009 despite their not meeting norms and guidelines.
"Eight recipients of coal blocks between 2006 and 2009 fall in the suspicious category," said a CBI source.
"It is suspected that these eight firms were allocated coal blocks despite their lack of requisite qualifications and in complete violation of rules and norms," said the source.
The investigating agency is likely to seek clarifications from these eight companies over various issues, including change in ownership pattern of the allocations, said the source.
The agency has also sought details on the allocation process, through which they were allotted coal blocks, from ministries concerned. Apart from coal-producing states, the agency will seek details from coal, power, cement, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion of the Commerce and Industry ministry.
The CBI is likely to seek clarifications from then members of the inter-ministerial screening committee, which was part of the allocation process, on issues related to the allocations.
Over 1,400 firms had applied for the allocation of around 64 coal blocks, which are currently in the CBI scanner, said the source. The CBI is conducting a preliminary probe into the allocation of coal blocks and is likely to complete its probe by July-end.
The investigating agency is scrutinising documents related to money trails in cases where any coal block was sub-let or its ownership pattern had changed after the allocation for a profit, said the source.
The CBI, meanwhile, is also analysing the findings of the coal ministry's internal probe into alleged irregularities related to the coal blocks' allocation.