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SC notice to CBI, ED on probe plea against Hindalco, Sasan plant

SC notice to CBI, ED on probe plea against Hindalco, Sasan plant
The court also issued notice on a plea for investigation into permission granted for diversion of coal from the captive coal block allocated to Sasan UMPP that was adversely commented upon by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

A Bench of Justice Madan B Lokur, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice AK Sikri, hearing cases rooted in the coal block allocation scam, issued notice after counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, said no probe was undertaken despite Income Tax department saying that Hindalco allegedly paid Rs 200 crore to various people for securing interest in <g data-gr-id="36">Talabira</g> coal block.

Contending that this was a clear case for thorough investigation, Bhushan said how could the investigating agencies take a position that they will not investigate these payments made by Hindalco.

He said that Income Tax department came to the conclusion on the basis of details revealed in the diary seized by the CBI from the office of the Hindalco. Bhushan gave to the court, in a sealed cover, what he described as the findings of the Income Tax investigation into <g data-gr-id="38">use</g> of money by Hindalco to facilitate the allocation of a part of the coal block.

On Sasan UMPP, Bhushan, seeking <g data-gr-id="33">investigation</g> into the permission granted for the diversion of coal, contended that it caused a loss of Rs 29,000 crore to the public exchequer. He said that <g data-gr-id="32">apex</g> court in its judgment cancelling the coal blocks had said that no coal from the captive coal blocks allocated for UMPP would be diverted for any other purposes.

The court on Monday also asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to ascertain from former CBI officer ML Sharma if he was inclined to head the team that would look into the meetings former agency chief Ranjit Sinha had with coal block allocation scam accused.

The SIT so set up would investigate if these meetings had in any way impacted the investigations and subsequent charge sheets or closure reports filed by the CBI in the coal block allocation scam cases. At the outset of the hearing, Rohatgi told the court that the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) did not have an investigating arm to undertake the exercise and a team of officers of impeccable integrity could be constituted to investigate the matter. While directing the listing of the matter next week, the court asked Rohatgi to speak to Sharma and seek his consent.

M Post Bureau

M Post Bureau

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