The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is investigating the coal blocks allocation scam, has said that the first two FIRs in the case is likely to be made very soon.
According to Bloomberg, the CBI will be filing its first FIR on 24 August and will name multiple companies. The CBI’s FIR is likely to name officials from Odisha, Jarkhand, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan governments. However, suspicious beneficiaries were the maximum in two states — Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
As many as 20 private companies and several state and Central government officials are being probed in connection with the alleged scam.
The companies that are under scanner include Grace Industries, DB Powers, Pushp Steel & Mining, NSL Powers and Infratech Ltd, Vimmi Iron & Steel Udyog, Visa Powers , GVK Powers , Kohinoor Steel Pvt Ltd, Rungta Projects, SKS Ispat, Navbharat Industries, Rashmi Cement, Jus Industries, Reliance Power , AMR, Vandana Global, JMD Yawatmal and Green Infrastructure.
Sources in the CBI told CNN IBN that most of the mines were allotted on the basis of recommendations and not merit.
After the FIRs are filed, the CBI will interrogate senior bureaucrats of state governments, including chief secretaries.
The agency has also questioned members of screening committee including Secretaries and Joint Secretary in the Ministry, CBI sources said.
They said the questioning of the Coal Secretaries, who also chair the screening committee, was done to understand the issues involved in the allocation of coal blocks during the period and so far agency has not found any irregularity on their part.
This comes days after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report said that presumptive loss to government from allocation amounts to as much as Rs 1.86 lakh crore, which is higher than the 2G spectrum allocation loss figure.
Though the CAG report remained silent on the role of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), it said that private companies were beneficiaries of the allocation.
According to the report, nearly 44 billion tonnes of coal were given at throwaway prices. Around 194 coal blocks were allotted on mere recommendation.