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Former Coal Secretary P C Parakh, who has been charged with alleged irregularities in the allotment of coal mine to Aditya Birla Group, on Saturday said he had on files given full reasons for preferring Hindalco over a PSU for allocation of the coal block.
"All those things were recorded in my noting in the file and there is nothing further to comment on that," Parakh said.
CBI sources had yesterday claimed that Parakh had failed to specify any "public good" on file notings when he reversed his earlier position of rejecting Hindaclo's application for coal block in Odisha.
"Why did we reverse the decision, all these things have been recorded in the file," Parakh said. The CBI has registered a FIR against Hindalco Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, Parakh and others for alleged irregularities in allocation of Talabira II and III coal blocks in Odisha in 2005.
Originally, Hindalco and state-owned Neyveli Lignite Corp had applied for a coal block. The Screening Committee headed by Parakh had decided to allocate the mine to Neyveli but the decision was later reversed after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Birla made separate representations to the Prime Minister.
Parakh said he did not see the necessity to refer the Prime Minister's note to re-examine the Hindalco's requisition for coal block, to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee had first rejected Hindalco's request for Talibara coal block but Parakh reversed the decision based on note from the Prime Minister, who was also in-charge of Coal portfolio then.
"Since I was heading the Steering Committee I was fully aware of what was the discussion in the Steering Committee. And therefore it was not necessary to go back to Steering Committee," Parakh said. "It is not required. Because Steering Committee is not a statutory committee which takes decisions basically make recommendations to the government. The final decision is always taken by the government," he added.
Parakh had recently said that Birla made a representation to the Prime Minister that the Steering Committee's decision was unfair as they were first applicants.
Parakh had said he found that there was some clarity in Birla's representation