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Coal scam probe: CBI may question Naveen Patnaik

October 17, 2013 18:20 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation could question Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in connection with alleged irregularities in allocation of coal block to Hindalco as he had written a letter to the Coal Ministry after application of the Aditya Birla company was rejected in 2005.

CBI sources said as its officials were scrutinising the documents they found a letter written by Patnaik requesting for a relook and reverse rejection of Hindalco's application for Talabira II block in Odisha.

The CBI said while no final decision has been taken as to who all would be questioned, the sources said the chief mwould be questioned only if need was felt to seek his views on the reasons for recommending coal blocks to Hindalco.

CBI sources said 46-year-old Kumar Manglam Birla, chairman of Aditya Birla Group, had written a letter to the Prime Minister's Office which had forwarded the letter to the coal ministry

The CBI has alleged in its first information report after rejection of Hindalco's plea in 2005, Birla wrote two letters and held a "personal meeting" with the then Coal Secretary P C Parakh, after which a decision was reversed and Hindalco was given the block which was earlier meant for two Public Sector Undertakings -- Mahanadi Coal Fields and Neyveli Lignite.

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