Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh on Friday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to reconsider the First Information Report (FIR) launched against industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla in the coal block allocation scam, and congratulated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for clearly stating his openness to come before investigations.
“I congratulate the Prime Minister because he has clearly said that he has no problem in coming before investigations. It is a clean and clear episode. Hindalco. is the country’s largest aluminum company. Birla is amongst those corporate leaders of our country who have gone about their business cleanly. I believe the CBI should reconsider the FIR they have lodged against him,” Singh said.
Digvijay Singh also said that he believed that Hindalco was clean, and explained the process of allocation, as he understood it.
“After Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote to the Prime Minister, asking him to grant a coal block for the company, the request was put through a screening committee. …Only 15 percent was granted to a private company, while the rest was allocated to public sector companies. There is no question of corruption here,” he said.
On his return home from Beijing, the Prime Minister on Thursday asserted that he is not above the law of the land, and said that he is ready to answer any questions by the CBI as he has nothing to hide in connection with the ongoing probe in the coal blocks allocation scam.
'I am not above the law of the land. If there is anything that the CBI, or for that matter, anybody wants to ask, I have nothing to hide," he said onboard Air India One on Thursday.
Earlier, on October 19, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) defended the coal block allocation made to Hindalco terming it as entirely appropriate.
In a statement issued, the PMO said the decision was based on the merits of the case placed before him by the coal ministry with a strong recommendation of the Odisha Government.
Tracing the procedures followed before the allocation was made, it said the Prime Minister was satisfied over the final decision taken in the case.
The statement said the allocation is subjected to an on going investigation and no impediment is placed before the CBI to continue the investigation and seek fresh information, which may have a bearing in the case.
The CBI has lodged an FIR against industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla, and former Coal Secretary PC Parakh as part of its ongoing probe in the coal blocks allocation case.