What was the hurry to close the case: Court asks CBI

New Delhi: CBI’s bid to close the case filed against top industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and others in coal blocks allocation scam today took a new turn when a special court questioned the agency as to what was the “hurry” in filing a closure report in the matter.

The observation came after the investigating officer (IO) told the court that the original minutes of meeting of screening committee, in which Birla-owned Hindalco’s application seeking allocation of coal blocks was dealt with, were “missing”.

The agency told the court that they have already lodged a PE (preliminary enquiry) regarding the missing documents.

To this, Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar said, “I have nothing to do with the PE. What was the hurry to close this case? On what basis you have drawn such con lusion (to close the case)?”

“What kind of investigation you have done? What was your supervisory officer doing? Was he (supervisory officer) only forwarding the documents to the court? Bring the police file and call your supervisory officer in the court now,” the judge said while giving the IO one hour time to call his superior.

The court was also anguished that the IO has not brought the case diary before it and even the documents filed by the agency along with its final report were not legible.

“I will go through each and every document. This case cannot go on like this. I will understand only when I will be able to read out the documents. I am unable to read them. They (CBI) are only dumping files in the court,” the judge said.

On court’s direction, the IO called CBI’s SP Nirbhay Kumar, the supervisory officer, who also reiterated that the minutes of the screening committee meeting were “missing”.

“They are missing. We have filed a separate PE on this,” he said, adding, draft of the minutes of the meeting has been filed in the court and they have been authenticated by the concerned officer of the Ministry of Coal.

The court was hearing the closure report filed by the CBI in its FIR lodged against Birla, former coal secretary P C Parakh and others.

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