CBI scanning state governments' records in `Coalgate' scam

Close on the heels of the Comptroller and Auditor General's (CAG) revelations of huge losses to the state exchequer on the allocation of coal blocks to private parties, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has started scrutinising letters written by certain state governments, including the BJP-led Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, to the coal ministry opposing the process of competitive bidding of coal blocks in 2005.

Reports quoting CBI sources said the agency might register multiple FIRs in the `Coalgate' scam.

The CAG has pointed to several violations of norms by both state government officials and allottees in the allocation of coal blocks and the CBI is likely to register more than one FIRs in the alleged irregularities.

CBI is reported to have questioned senior state government officials who were overseeing allocation of coal blocks during 2006-09, sources said.

CBI, however, is yet to take cognisance of the CAG report on alleged coal block scam, which was tabled in Parliament yesterday.

CBI investigations would be confined to the role of officials and allottees where criminality could be established and not on policy issues.