CBI registers fresh case against Hindalco

Bhubaneswar: CBI on Friday registered a fresh case against Hindalco and some unknown public servants in the coal block allocation scam. Searches have also been carried out at four places – three in Sambalpur in Odisha and another in Mumbai.

There are allegations that the coal was used in unauthorised manner in the existing power plant whereas allocation was done for expanding the capacity of new power plant. Further mining was started without mine opening permission.

Three days ago, CBI sleuths questioned former prime minister Manmohan Singh at his residence in connection with a coal scam case relating to allocation of Talabira-II coal block to Hindalco when he was holding the portfolio of Coal.

The UPA government in 2005 had recommended allotment of Talabira-II to Hindalco. The company had proposed an integrated aluminium complex, including a 1-million tonne per annum alumina refinery, a 2,60,000-tonne per annum aluminium smelter plant and a 650-MW captive power plant, in Sambalpur at an aggregate investment of Rs 11,000 crore.

In July 2014, the CBI had questioned retired Odisha bureaucrat Bhaskar Chatterjee in connection with the allotment of the coal block to Hindalco as he was the Steel and Mines secretary when the State government had recommended allotment of the coal block.