The CBI on Thursday submitted its closure report in a city court in its probe into alleged irregularities related to the allocation of the two Odisha coal blocks in 2005 to aluminium maker Hindalco since it found no criminality, giving a clean chit to Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla and former coal secretary PC Parekh.
Birla, Hindalco and Parakh were named in the First Information Report filed by the agency in October 2013. “We will close our probe related to the allocation of coal blocks to Hindalco since no criminality was found. The allocation was found to be regular,” CBI director Ranjit Sinha had told HT on Monday.
HT was the first to report on October 16, 2013, a day after the case was registered, that the agency was not probing any quid pro quo. A day later, HT had reported that the CBI was ready to close the case if no irregularity was found.
After the FIR was lodged in October 2013, CBI had said that an inter-ministerial screening committee had allocated two coal blocks at Talabira-2 to the Tamil Nadu-based public sector unit Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) under the government dispensation scheme, which is meant for public sector units. The CBI had probed allegations that the then coal secretary had allowed the firm to share the Talabira-2 coal blocks at the expense of NLC.
“We wish to state unambiguously that we have followed every process required for allocation of coal completely, as stipulated by the government policy,” a Hindalco statement had said after the case was lodged. Parakh had denied any wrongdoing on his part.