Gracious for PM to say decision was right: P C Parakh

New Delhi, Oct 25: Former Coal Secretary P C Parakh, named as accused in CBI FIR related to coal block allocation to Hindalco, on Friday said CBI had failed to appreciate issues involved in the case even as he appreciated the Prime Minister for asserting that the decision was right.

He said the CBI contention that Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of Aditya Birla Group, met the Prime Minister and him and after that decision was reversed does not show slightest element of criminality.

Parakh said CBI has not been able to appreciate the issues involved in this particular decision. "It was very gracious on the part of the Prime Minister to say yes the decision was right and if CBI has anything to ask they are free to ask," he told reporters.

CBI has alleged that Birla met Parakh during July, 2005, requesting allocation of the block.

"Pursuant to these letters and the meeting between Parakh and Birla, the former abused his official position and recommended the allocation of Talabira II along with Talabira III to Hindalco Industries without any valid basis or change in circumstances and with the sole intention to show undue favours," it alleged.

Rebutting the allegations, a statement from the PMO indicated that the "competent authority" referred to in the FIR was Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had been holding charge of Coal ministry in the said period.

It said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was satisfied that the final decision taken in this regard had been "entirely appropriate" and based on the merits of the case placed before him.

"The final decision differed from the earlier recommendation of the Screening Committee, and this was done following a representation received in the PMO from one of the parties," the statement had said.


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