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Millennium Post

Is CBI in a hurry to close coal files?

Is the country’s top probing agency trying to hasten up the proceedings in Coalgate cases and leading them  to unwarranted closures? The CBI has given a clean chit to the government in at least one third of the coal block allocations that came under scrutiny following the allegations of indiscrepancy in the distribution of mining rights to private sector companies. While the Bureau has not found any trace of criminal misconduct and cheating in 60 such allocations, a report which the Supreme Court is scheduled to pronounce a verdict on 15 January, looks like the investigative agency is in a hurry to absolve the government hand in the muck. The FIRs were based on preliminary enquiries of projects given under the government dispensation scheme and the allegations included company directors and unnamed bureaucrats giving and taking kickbacks, compensations and undue favours, as well as fudging facts and figures to misrepresent the appropriateness of the corporations.

With big industrialists and MPs named in the coal black allocation scandal, and the indicting CAG report accusing the union government of tampering with the coal block allocations, it is obvious that the political and corporate nexus is at the heart of the malaise that is threatening to bring down the state apparatus. Among the prominent persons accused in the coal block misallocation cases are Congress MPs Vijay Darda and Naveen Jindal, former minister of state for coal Dasari Narayana Rao, Aditya Birla Group chairperson Kumar Mangalam Birla and former coal secretary PC Parakh. Since such high-profile names have cropped up in the massive scam, with the prime minister’s name too drawn into the mud, it is the duty of the CBI to carry out the probe in dispassionate and unbiased manner. But the way in which the probe is proceeding, it appears that the Bureau is more interested freeing the central government of the allegations than actually proceeding with the due course of the investigation.
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