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Coalgate: CBI Quizzes Ex-coal Secretary Parakh for Eight Hours

Published: 01st May 2014 09:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st May 2014 09:23 PM   |  A+A-

PARAKH_PTI
By PTI

 Former Coal Secretary P C Parakh was today questioned for eight hours by CBI officials in connection with a case of alleged irregularities in grant of an Odisha-based coal block to Hindalco.

CBI sources said that Parakh has been called for questioning again tomorrow.

"There is nothing to say. They had questions to ask and they will carry on tomorrow," he told reporters after the questioning at the agency headquarters here which lasted eight hours.

When asked whether he was satisfied with the questioning process, as he had alleged in his book that on previous instances inspector-level officers with no experience of policy formulations were involved in his examination, Parakh said he was satisfied.

"The whole idea of the questioning is to understand. I am in the process of making them understand. They have a point of view. I am trying to put my point of view," he said.

Asked whether the CBI team was clear about the fundamentals of coal blocks allocation process, he said that is being discussed during the examination.

Parakh was questioned by a team led by a Superintendent of Police (SP) level officer, which was monitored by a Joint Director and he was given access to all documents related to the case, the sources said.

69-year-old Parakh, who retired as Coal Secretary in December 2005, has been accused in a CBI FIR of abusing his official position to grant a coal block to Hindalco, an Aditya Birla Group company.

The CBI had served fresh summons to the former IAS officer seeking his appearance today. Earlier, Parakh had expressed his inability to appear before the probe agency on April 25.

CBI had last year registered a case against Parakh, Birla and unnamed officials of Hindalco and the Coal Ministry.

Birla and Hindalco have denied allegations of irregularities.

The agency has alleged that during 2005, these persons had entered into a criminal conspiracy and the then public servant (Parakh) abused his position and showed undue favour to the Odisha-based industry in allocation of Talabira II and Talabira III coal blocks.

CBI has also quizzed former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao and the Prime Minister's Advisor T K A Nair in the case.

According to the FIR, Neyveli Lignite Limited was to be given Talabira II coal block but Parakh allegedly favoured Hindalco and allowed it to share the block with Neyveli leading to notional loss to the exchequer.

Parakh has denied any quid pro quo as alleged by CBI in its FIR about his meeting with Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of Aditya Birla group of companies, and also maintained that there was no pressure exerted by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in clearing the deal in favour of the Birla group.

CBI has also completed examining top executives of the Rs 2.4-lakh-crore Birla company in connection with the allocation, sources said.

However, no decision to summon the group's chairman has been taken so far.

Parakh was in news recently after release of his book on coal blocks allocation in which he had questioned the rationale of the CBI to name him and Kumar Mangalam Birla.

Also Read:

Ex Coal Secretary Parakh to be Quizzed by CBI on Thursday

Coalgate: CBI to Quiz Parakh

Ex-Coal Secretary Parakh Embarrasses PM 



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