Another PE by CBI in coal allocation

NEW DELHI, Nov 15:
CBI has registered a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) to probe coal block allocation to a power project in Sasan in Madhya Pradesh run by Anil Ambani’s ADAG, making it the 14th such enquiry covering various business houses including Tata and Unitech.
The PE was registered on the directions of Supreme Court which had asked the CBI to probe 14 issues which included supply of low floor buses by Tata motors to Tamil Nadu Government, grant of spectrum and alleged market manipulations and hammering of stocks by Unitech.
Other PEs registered by the CBI also included alleged favours shown to the then Director General(Hydro Carbons) by Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, working of touts and middlemen in aviation sector and income tax officials for alleged abuse of their official position.
CBI sources said today that the PE had been registered to probe allotment of coal blocks to Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project run by ADAG and that the agency would have to file a status report to the Supreme Court by December 15.
ADAG spokesperson said in a statement that “we welcome the independent time-bound enquiries by the CBI, monitored by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, which will clearly establish our bona fides, and once and for all prove beyond doubt that we have been the unfortunate victims of a mischievous campaign of calumny and vilification conducted at the behest of our unscrupulous corporate rivals over the past 5 years.”
“The allocation of coal mines to the Sasan project was done to a 100 percent Government-owned company in the year 2006 when our company Reliance Power, had not even won the project. Government disinvested it’s shares to Reliance pursuant to a Global Tender in the year 2007.
“The use of surplus coal from the Sasan UMPP has been approved on two separate occasions by two EGoMs,” it said.
A bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi had identified 14 issues which were framed by a apex court-appointed probe team on the analysis of the tapped conversations of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia with bureaucrats, politicians, corporate tycoons and scribes.
In its October 17 order, the court ordered a CBI probe into these issues.
The bench had said, “….Issues are prima facie indicative of deep rooted malaise in the system of which advantage has been taken by private enterprises in collaboration and connivance with the Government officers and others.
“The conversations between Niira Radia and her associates with various persons suggests that unscrupulous elements have used corrupt means to secure favours from the Government officers, who appear to have acted for extraneous considerations”. (PTI)

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