The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday registered another preliminary enquiry (PE) into the coal block allocation scam which will cover period between 1993 and 2004. The CBI has named 24 companies and unidentified public servants in the PE. The companies include joint venture vehicles formed by state government corporations and private companies.
Despite registering two PEs, the CBI is not looking into the coal blocks allocated in 2005. First PE covers allocations between 2006 and 2009 and the second one will focus on allotments between 1993 and 2004, thus leaving 2005 out of any probe. Interestingly, 18 private companies that got captive coal blocks in 2005 include Abhijeet Infrastructure, owned by Manoj Jayaswal, who has been named as an accused in three out of the seven FIRs.
"We will fill these gaps later but as of now we have based our PE on the reference sent to us by the Central Vigilance Commission. The reference also entails names of 24 companies and joint ventures, therefore, all these firms have been named in the PE," said a CBI official.
There is another grey area where the CBI is appears to be treading very carefully. The CBI cannot probe a state subject without the consent of the state government concerned. But in the PE, the CBI has named joint venture vehicles between the state government corporations and private companies. These corporations come under the jurisdiction of state governments. "If need be, we may seek permission of the state government concerned," said the official.
Between 1993 and 2004, companies like BLA Industries, Monet Ispat, Jindal Power, Jayaswal Neco, Fieldmining & Ispat, Prakash Industries and Bhushan Limited were allocated coal blocks.