The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which probed alleged irregularities in the allocation of an Odisha coal block in 2005 to aluminium maker Hindalco for over a year, had concluded that there was no criminality in the process and gave a clean chit to the firm, former coal secretary PC Parakh and other accused.
The firm and the others were named in an FIR filed by the agency in October 2013, claiming that the firm was allowed to share the coal blocks at the expense of a public sector firm. A trial court on Wednesday summoned as accused in the case former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh among others.
The court’s order came in as a surprise to the agency as it had in two of its closure reports — filed in August and October of 2014 — stated earlier that the decision to allocate the coal block to the firm was taken “in the interest of the country and in view of its federal legal framework,” said an agency source.
The agency is yet to release an official statement regarding the order.
The CBI had earlier said that the probe did not have “adequate evidence to substantiate the allegations.”
“We wish to state unambiguously that we have followed every process required for allocation of coal completely, as stipulated by the government policy,” a statement by the firm had said after the case was lodged.
Parakh had earlier denied any wrongdoing on his part when examined by the CBI. He had also claimed that the coal block had belonged to the captive list meant for private firms.