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Pushed, govt admits over 200 coal blocks allocation files missing

Even as Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal assured Parliament on Tuesday that he would leave “no stone unturned” to trace the missing files related to the allocation of coal blocks, the coal ministry has listed over 200 missing files which would be required by the CBI for its probe.

These include files related to policy decisions such as continuing with the screening committee procedure instead of accepting the T L Shanker committee’s recommendations in 2004 to auction the blocks. The ministry’s response to the T L Shanker committee’s recommendations is missing.

Related: 13 crucial files on coal block missing

The ministry also has no record of the paper trail through which several big companies were granted coal blocks. The application sent by Hindalco for Mahan block, Punjab government’s verification report for Seragarha block for GVK Power, recommendations made by MP Vijay Darda for Bander coal block for AMR Iron & Steel, feedback form submitted by Kamal Sponge Steel and Power, applications for all 45 coal blocks allocated from 1993-2005 and inter-ministerial meeting minutes on CTL allocation are among the other documents reported to be missing.

Related: Uproar in Rajya Sabha over missing files

In its communication to the coal ministry, the CBI had sought these files for its investigation into coal block allocations since 1993. But the coal ministry found that the relevant documents “could not be found in the records of the section”. It said “the Prime Minister’s Office may be requested to provide the copy of the PMO reference to the ministry”.

The CBI had listed 225 documents as crucial to its investigation into the allocation of 13 coal blocks to private companies. CBI sources said the coal ministry has provided only 68 documents so far. “If the coal ministry believes these files are missing, it should file a complaint with the police or CBI to probe the matter,” said a CBI official.

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