The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday refuted former coal secretary HC Gupta’s statements to a special court that then prime minister Manmohan Singh had given “final approval” for allocation of a coal block, and was thus responsible.
CBI told the court that the former PM had been “kept in the dark” about coal block allocation to Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd (KSSPL).
The claims were made before special judge Bharat Parashar during arguments on framing of charges against Gupta and others in the case that pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Thesgora-B Rudrapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh to KSSPL.
The court concluded the hearing on arguments on framing of charges and fixed the matter for September 16, saying it would seek clarifications, if any, from CBI as well as the accused.
Gupta’s counsel said that he had “no dominion” over the natural resource and Singh, who was also holding the portfolio of coal minister at that time, had given final approval for allocation.
However, CBI countered Gupta’s arguments, contending that “the coal minister/prime minister was totally kept in the dark” and alleged it was the then coal secretary who had “misled” senior officials of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) -- TKA Nair and Vini Mahajan.
While Nair was the then principal secretary to the Prime Minister, Mahajan was the then director in the PMO.