CBI sources said as its officials were scrutinising the documents they found a letter written by Patnaik requesting for a relook and reverse rejection of Hindalco's application for Talabira II block in Odisha.

We are following SC guidelines: CBI

CBI said while no final decision has been taken as to who all would be questioned, the sources said the Chief Minister would be questioned only if need was felt to seek his views on the reasons for recommending coal blocks to Hindalco.
    
CBI sources said 46-year-old Kumar Manglam Birla, chairman of Aditya Birla Group, had written a letter to the Prime Minister's Office which had forwarded the letter to the Coal Ministry.
    
CBI has alleged in its FIR after rejection of Hindalco's plea in 2005, Birla wrote two letters and held a "personal meeting" with the then Coal Secretary PC Parakh, after which a decision was reversed and Hindalco was given the block which was earlier meant for two Public Sector Undertakings—Mahanadi Coal Fields and Neyveli Lignite.

Patnaik clarifies stand on his letter for Hindalco

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday clarified his stand on the letter he wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about eight years ago for Hindalco.

Patnaik's statement comes after reports that the CBI could question him in the alleged coal block allocation scam, as he wrote the letter after the Aditya Birla Company application seeking the block was rejected in 2005. He told reporters that he wrote the letter on August 17, 2005 keeping the best interests of the state in mind.

The Chief Minister said that he had written indicating Hindalco's request for Talabira II coal block in the Ib valley of Jharsuguda district of Odisha be examined. As per the procedure for coal block allocation, the final decision rests with the Centre, he said.

(JPN/Agencies)

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