CBI to question ex-coal secretary Parakh this week

New Delhi, April 22: The Central Bureau of Investigation issued a summon to former coal secretary P.C. Parakh Tuesday and is likely to question him this week in the coal block allocation scam, said informed sources.

The sources said that the agency asked Parakh to appear at its Delhi office this week probably on April 25 (Friday).

It is alleged that Parakh misused his official position in granting a coal block in Odisha to Hindalco, a company of Aditya Birla Group.

The allegation is that the screening committee had alotted the Talabira-II coal block to public sector undertaking (PSU) Neyveli Lignite Limited but the decision was changed by Parakh after he received a request sent by Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla from the Prime Minister’s Office for reconsideration of the decision.

The CBI last year registered a case against Parakh and Birla, besides “unknown” officials of Hindalco and the coal ministry.

The agency alleged that during 2005, these people entered into a criminal conspiracy and Parakh abused his position to show undue favour to the Odisha-based industry in allocation of Talabira-II and Talabira-III coal blocks along with the PSU.

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

IANS