Coal scam: Plea for probe into 'hawala transactions' in SC

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New Delhi, Jul 6: The Supreme Court today sought the responses of CBI and ED for a probe into the Aditya Birla Group's alleged hawala transactions which cropped up during the probe of the coal scam and permission granted for alleged diversion of coal from the block allotted to Reliance ADAG's Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project in Madhya Pradesh.

A special bench headed by Justice M B Lokur which is monitoring the probe in the coal block allocation scam issued notice to the probe agencies and sought their responses within four weeks on an application filed by the NGO, Common Cause.

Coal scam: SC seeks responses of CBI, ED

The NGO has cited media reports which claimed that the search operations conducted on October 15, 2013 by CBI at Aditya Birla Group's Corporate Office in the capital allegedly led to the recovery of a huge stash of unaccounted cash worth Rs 25 crore besides a diary and other incriminating documents.

"As per newspaper reports, the documents seized by the CBI in its search operation in Mumbai allegedly reveal massive bribery of politicians and officials of various ministries by the Aditya Birla group over several years," said the application, which came for hearing before the Bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri. T

he Group has repeatedly denied any wrong doing. The NGO has also raised the issue of alleged diversion of coal by ADAG's Reliance Power for commercial exploitation.

The coal block, meant for company's Sasan UMPP, was used for other purposes and even CAG has said that this diversion has caused a Rs 29,000 crore loss to the state exchequer, NGO's counsel Prashant Bhushan claimed. "It is on record that Reliance ADAG officials had repeatedly visited the residence of the former CBI Director, Ranjit Sinha.

Under the circumstance, this Court may direct the CBI and the ED to thoroughly investigate the post-bidding concession granted to Reliance ADAG for diversion of coal from Sasan UMPP as brought out in the CAG report," the application said.

PTI

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