CVC scrutinises all coal block allocation files

Those who heaved a sigh of relief with the CBI’s closure report in connection with ‘Coalgate’ are back in the stockade. The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has started digging into files related to the scam involving state public sector undertakings and private companies.

Following the CBI’s closure report, the Supreme Court on 28 March, while terming it unsatisfactory, asked the CVC to give its opinion on closure reports filed by the probe agency. The confusion arises when the apex court has observed differences of opinion between the investigating officer and its superiors over the closure reports.

It was then the court had sought the assistance of CVC and asked them for a relook into the files on coal blocks to ascertain whether any important lead was overlooked by the CBI or not. ‘The CBI has given us all the files and we are going through it,’ CVC sources said. According to the coal ministry, 195 coal blocks were allocated between 1993 and 2011 and the CBI has registered 20 FIRs to probe alleged irregularities in coal block allocation. So far, the CVC had examined 25 Preliminary Enquiry files closed by the CBI and it has already submitted its findings on 17 Preliminary Enquiry reports on 30 April and remaining eight on 9 May to the Supreme Court.

It was learnt that the CVC in theirits report to the apex court has opposed the closure report submitted by the CBI.

The apex court’s direction to CVC had come following filing of two closure reports on Coalgate in March by the CBI. However, CBI’s Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Ravi Kant, who was heading the probe, was in favour of filing chargesheets. But the court has observed some differences among the senior and subordinate officers over the opinion.

Therefore the apex court, while hearing coal block cases, has asked the CVC to give its suggestions on whether the cases can be closed or CBI can go ahead with the filing of chargesheets. Then CVC Commissioner Pradeep Kumar had sought to recuse himself from handling the cases claiming that he was once working with the Coal Ministry.

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