CBI ‘examines’ ex-PM in coal scam, but both keep mum

  • HT Correspondent and PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 21, 2015 02:44 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought clarifications from former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as part of its probe into alleged irregularities related to the allocation of two Odisha coal blocks to aluminium maker Hindalco in 2005.

Sources claimed a CBI team had sought clarifications from him two days ago at his residence. The CBI spokesperson, however, did not confirm or deny his examination, neither did the former PM.

Singh’s examination was in connection with a coal scam case relating to the allocation of the Talabira II block to Hindalco when Singh was also holding the coal ministry portfolio — in pursuance of the court’s December 16 order.

Sources also said that the agency officials also examined BVR Subramanyam, who was personal secretary to then PM and TKA Nair, who was then working as principal secretary in the PMO, in connection with the case. The trial court had last directed CBI to examine these two officials, along with the former PM, as part of its probe. Singh held the coal ministry portfolio in 2005.

The agency is set to file its status report in the case by January 27.

The CBI had in August last submitted its closure report in the case, giving a clean chit to the firm and former coal secretary PC Parakh. Hindalco, Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla and Parakh were named in the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the agency in October 2013.

Refusing to accept CBI’s closure report filed in the matter, the trial court had said “I have ordered further investigation. I desire that statements of the then minister of coal (Manmohan Singh) be recorded besides other officials.”

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