Coalgate: CBI questions ex-coal secretary for seven hours
New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) questioned former coal secretary H C Gupta for over seven hours over alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks between 2006 and 2008 during his tenure.
According to media reports, Gupta was reportedly drilled for allegedly overlooking the misrepresentation of facts by AMR Iron and Steel Private Limited which was allocated the Bander Coal Block in Maharashtra. Gupta, who resigned as a member of Competition Commission of India (CCI) after the CBI summoned him as an accused in the case, was asked about a screening committee meeting chaired by him.
During this meeting, Gupta, a 1971 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, had cleared the coal block in favour of the AMR Group. The CBI had last year registered a case against AMR Directors Devendra Darda, son of Congress MP Vijay Darda, along with Arvind Jayaswal, Manoj Jayaswal and Ramesh Jayaswal.
The CBI claimed that AMR had "fraudulently and wilfully" concealed the fact that its group of companies have already been allocated five coal blocks with an "object to avoid scrutiny on this count which would have weakened its claim."
The allegation against Gupta is linked to the committee not following mandatory procedures or carrying out proper background checks while allocating coal blocks to companies