"It's not our concern what other agencies said about the former coal secretary," he said, referring to PC Parikh, who has defended his role in the allocation. (JPN/Agencies)
"We have evidence on record that it was Parakh who overturned the screening committee decision and the coal block was allotted to the Birla. This is the initial stage of investigation, and a chance will be given to all accused to defend themselves. This is a Supreme Court monitored investigation and we are going by the rule book," Sinha said.
Sinha's comments came after some ministers, India Inc and others came out against the CBI, saying the action in the alleged irregularities in the coal block allocation was only creating an atmosphere of fear.
Nothing to hide on coal blocks: Narayanasamy
The government had nothing to hide and decisions on coal block allocations were taken on the basis of recommendations of state governments, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V Narayanasamy said on Thursday.
Narayanasamy told reporters that it has been the stand of the government that allocations have been made to public sector undertakings and some private companies "on the recommendations of state governments where coal blocks were available".
"We have nothing to hide," he said.
Narayanasamy did not comment on remarks of former coal secretary PC Parakh that it was Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who decided on the allocation of two Odisha coal blocks in 2005. "The matter is sub judice. It is being investigated by the CBI," the minister said.
FIR against Parakh and Birla
CBI had registered a case against Parakh and industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla on charges of criminal conspiracy and corruption in connection with alleged irregularities in the allocation of two coal blocks in Odisha in 2005.
Parakh has dubbed as "baseless" allegations leveled against him by the CBI. "There is absolutely nothing wrong with the decision. It was a very fair and correct decision that we took. I don't know why CBI thought that there is a conspiracy," Parakh has said.
"But, if there is a conspiracy, then there are different members in this conspiracy. There is KM Birla who made the representation, he is one conspirator. I, who examined the case and made a recommendation, I can be another conspirator and the Prime Minister, who as the Coal Minister, took the final decision, is the third conspirator,” he had said.
"So, if the CBI thinks there is a conspiracy, why did they choose and select Mr Birla and me and not the PM. If conspiracy is there, then everyone is part of the conspiracy," he contended.
Opposition attacks PM
BJP on Wednesday said that the remarks of ex-coal secretary PC Parakh that the Prime Minister must be counted as a ‘conspirator’ in the coal blocks allocation scam are ‘not surprising’ and he should disclose how allotments were made when Manmohan Singh was in charge of Coal Ministry.
The time has come for Parakh to speak up. He has spoken a little. He should come out clean now, make public statements of how files were disposed off at that time (when the PM was in charge of Coal Ministry),” senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said. PM should be third ‘conspirator’: Parakh "How chits were received from Congress party headquarters in the PMO and PMO transmitted those instructions to the Coal Ministry for allotment of coal blocks," Sinha said.
BJP Deputy Leader in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad said Parakh's statement "merits serious consideration" as the accountability of the PMO and the PM is equally important.
Parakh should disclose how coal blocks were allotted: BJP
"Parakh, who was termed a whistle blower by CAG report, was demanding a fair process for whole allocation through auctioning which was delayed by the government. Until the new rules came into being, these all coal blocks were allocated in a hurry to ineligible persons,” he said.
CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said, "What is required is a speedy completion of the investigation and a thorough revelation of who did what and on that basis action must follow."
"It's not our concern what other agencies said about the former coal secretary," he said, referring to PC Parikh, who has defended his role in the allocation.