Team Anna rejects probe
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on May 1, registered a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) into Team Anna’s allegations of irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks to private companies between 2006 and 2009 and has already started its investigations. But Team Anna squarely rejected the CBI probe into the alleged ‘coalgate’ saying the agency that works under the Prime Minister cannot investigate his conduct without fear or favour.
A PE, as the name indicates, is not a full-fledged case and a PE only determines whether a full fledged FIR needs to be lodged in the case or not. Investigations under the PE will cover the role of bureaucrats, officials, private companies and ministers concerned. Sources said the CBI will examine the auction process of the coal blocks between 2006 and 2009 and will determine loss due to any irregularities in the auction process, but will not look into policy issues.
The CBI has registered the PE against “unknown persons”. It has also received from the Central Vigilance Commission the complaint of BJP leaders Prakash Javadekar and Hansraj Ahir who had alleged that the UPA government had deliberately taken the first-come-first-serve basis rather than the auction route to benefit some private companies. The CBI move comes a day after the CVC referred the matter to the CBI for investigation of coal block allocation between 2006 and 2009 which has put in question the role of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
ARVIND KEJRIWAL, Team Anna member: The CBI probe into the matter is just an eyewash. The CBI reports to the Prime Minister so it is obvious that after six-seven months of investigation, it will give a clean chit to him. We have no faith in the CBI probe at all and that’s why we demand a probe by an independent agency. During 2006-09, the Prime Minister was the in-charge of the Coal Ministry. We want to know why during this period at least 145 coal blocks were allotted in haste as compared to mere 75 allotted in previous 12 years period.”