Coalgate: CBI to question Odisha bureaucrats first!

ranjit sinha
OST Bureau
New Delhi, Oct 18:

The CBI team investigating into the coal scam has drawn up a list of senior Odisha bureaucrats and former bureaucrats who were involved in the processing of files on coal block allocation, a very reliable source told OST. These senior officials will be questioned ahead of the chief minister, it said.

According to the source, Income Tax officials, who assisted the CBI team while the Delhi office of a top corporate house was being raided recently, found Rs 25 crore in cash and evidence linking the concerned company to a hawala racket. A list of names of people who received money from the company through this hawala route was also unearthed during the raid.

The list includes the names of top politicians and bureaucrats, the source said adding, some of them are from Odisha.

The CBI is most likely to question senior officials of the Steel and Mines department, Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) and the CMO, who had handled the files dealing with allocation of coal blocks in the state from 2000 to 2010, the source said.

Although CBI sources confirmed Naveen Patnaik’s letter recommending Hindalco for coal blocks was part of the coal scam investigation, they refused to share further details.

However, CBI director Ranjit Sinha, without naming anyone, told reporters: “Whosoever is required to be examined by the CBI in this case… the agency will certainly seek clarifications from them.” He said the case was being monitored by the Supreme Court and the agency will submit its Coalgate probe report before the court on October 29.

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