Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has told CBI that Hindalco was not favoured in any manner in the allocation of Talabira-II coal block and that it was done as per prescribed procedures.
He is believed to have made this point when CBI officials examined him 10 days ago in pursuance of the orders of a special court going into the case relating to the scam.
The statement of the former prime minister, who was holding the portfolio of Coal during the relevant time, was filed as part of the CBI’s progress report in the case before the special court today.
The sources said that during the examination of Singh, he was asked about the developments in the Prime Minister Office (PMO) and Ministry of Coal after industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla had written two letters dated May 7, 2005 and June 17, 2005 to him requesting for allocation of Talabira-II coal block to Hindalco.
They said besides Singh’s statement, the agency has also filed statements of Singh’s then Principal Secretary T K A Nair and the then Private Secretary B V R Subramanyam, which was recorded in the ongoing probe in the case pertaining to allocation of Talabira-II coal block in Orissa to M/s Hindalco in 2005.
The CBI sought two weeks more time to complete its probe after which the court fixed the matter for filing of progress report on February 19.
Nair was earlier also examined by the agency but the court had noted in its December 16 last year order that it would be “appropriate” if the CBI re-examines him.