SUMMARY:- Investigators suspect that these two firms got the blocks with the help of Parakh, CBI sources said.
Former coal secretary P C Parakh, who slammed the CBI for accusing him of wrongdoing in the allotment of coal blocks to Hindalco, joined three private firms as director after his retirement, including two now being investigated by the agency in the coal blocks scandal.
Investigators suspect that these two firms got the blocks with the help of Parakh, CBI sources said. He will soon be called for questioning in this connection, they added.
But the former coal secretary, who lives in Hyderabad after retirement, denied the allegations. “There is no link between the allocation of coal blocks and my appointment as director in the companies,” he said.
Parakh retired in December 2005 and joined as a director at Navbharat Power Pvt Ltd in February 2007.
Hyderabad-based Navbharat had applied for a coal block in January 2007 and made a presentation to the 35th screening committee in June 2007. The company has been named by the CBI in an FIR registered in September last year and is accused of misrepresenting its net worth and concealing facts before the screening committee.
It was also alleged that “Navbharat, after getting an allocation in January 2008, sold off their entire shareholdings in July 2010 to Ms Essar Ltd and its subsidiary company at a huge profit of over Rs 200 crore”.
Parakh, according to Ministry of Corporate Affairs records, resigned from Navbharat on January 15, 2008. CBI sources said the agency will question Parakh on his association with Navbharat and why he was worked for a company accused of concealing facts before the screening committee.
Parakh, after retirement, was also associated with two other private companies which were later allotted coal blocks, investigators have found. He was a director in Visa Power Ltd between 2007 and 2008 and is now with Tata Sponge Iron Ltd.
Visa had applied for a coal block in Mand Raigarh in Chhattisgarh and Talcher in Orissa and is being probed by the CBI.
Speaking to The Indian Express over the phone from Hyderabad, Parakh said he had joined the private sector after retirement only after the cooling-off period, which was one year then.