Coal scam: CBI files case diary in sealed cover

New Delhi: CBI today filed the case diary and crime files in a sealed cover in a coal blocks allocation case related to Hindalco before a special court, complying with its order.

The court has now fixed the matter for consideration of CBI's closure report filed in the case for December 12. Two days after the court had directed it to furnish the case diary of the matter, the CBI submitted two bundles of documents in a sealed cover before the court.

"In compliance of the court's order, we are filing the crime folder as well as the case diary," senior Public Prosecutor V K Sharma told special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar. The judge said, "IO (Investigating officer) states that he has brought both the case diary and crime files in a sealed cover.

He is further being told to assist the court in looking into the relevant papers. The matter is now adjourned for consideration on December 12." During the brief hearing, the court said if there is still any clarification to be sought in the matter, it will ask the agency and then pass order on the closure report.

The court was hearing a case in which an FIR was lodged against industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla, ex-Coal Secretary P C Parakh and others relating to allocation of Talabira IIand III coal blocks in Odisha in 2005 to Hindalco. CBI hadlater on filed closure report in the case.

During the hearing on November 25, CBI had come in for some tough questioning from the court which had asked why theagency did not question former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who was also holding the Coal portfolio between 2005 and 2009.

The court's observations had came after CBI submitted that though initially it felt Singh's examination was required, later it was found to be not necessary. At the end of the hearing, the court had summoned the case diary and crime files in a sealed cover and had posted the matter for today.

Former Prime Minister Singh was holding the portfolio ofcoal ministry when Birla's firm Hindalco was allocated coal blocks in Orissa's Talabira II & III in 2005. The FIR against Birla, Parakh and others was registered in October last year by CBI which had alleged that Parakh had reversed his decision to reject coal block allocation to Birla's firm Hindalco within months "without any valid basis or change in circumstances" and shown "undue favours".

CBI had booked Birla, Parakh and other Hindalco officials under various IPC sections, including criminal conspiracy and criminal misconduct on part of government officials. Earlier on November 10, CBI had told the court that there was "prima facie enough material" to proceed against some private parties and public servants in the case.

The Supreme Court-appointed special public prosecutor (SPP) R S Cheema for CBI had submitted before the judge that the court can take cognisance of the offences mentioned in the closure report as there was prima facie "evidence against the accused to show their involvement".

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