Friday, June 21, 2013

Coalgate: Former secretary H C Gupta 'blames politicians for coal block scandal'

Former coal secretary H C Gupta is believed to have blamed the political executive for irregularities in the allotment of coal blocks and alleged that politicians interfered in the decisions of the screening committee.

Gupta, who was secretary in the ministry in 2006-08, was questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday in connection with the scandal.

Central Bureau of Investigation sources said that Gupta, who was also chairman of the screening panel, was examined in connection with three cases of coal blocks allotment to Maharashtra Congress MP Vijay Darda and his relatives.

But the sources refused to share details of any names of political leaders Gupta may have mentioned.

Asked by investigators why he did not give a "dissent" note if he was under pressure to allot coal blocks, the former IAS officer is believed to have claimed that he tried to protest but was not successful.

Gupta's role is also under scrutiny as he is suspected to have overlooked the alleged misrepresentation made by three companies - AMR Iron and Steel Ltd, JAS Infrastructure and JLD Yavatmal - while allotting coal blocks. He was questioned for five hours and is likely to be called again.
Rahul Tripathi : New Delhi, Fri Jun 21 2013, 08:43 hrs

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