A day after the Supreme Court slammed the coal ministry of criminality in failing to locate the missing files on coal block allocations, the ministry has formed six search teams to hunt them down and submit a detailed report by September 12, which would be placed before the Inter Ministerial Group (IMG).
The ministry’s note sent out on Friday says that “special attention” should be on unearthing important papers like the “financial scrutiny reports, verification reports, applications, VIP references” during the search.
The Court on Thursday said that financial capability of the applicants was the most crucial aspect of coal block allocations, but was missing from the record. The financial strengths, as tabulated by Coal India (CIL) experts, were very important for establishing the correctness of allocations, it said.
The ministry has therefore set up two search teams at CIL — one at headquarters in Kolkata and one in Delhi.
CIL has also been directed to contact its subsidiary coal companies where it feels that the documents may be available. Three teams would be based in the ministry while one would be in Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Limited.
“In order to ascertain the factual position regarding the availability of such files/documents, the concerned officers who were working at that time may also be contacted in this regard,” said the ministry’s order.
The Court on August 29 gave the ministry two weeks to provide the CBI with all documents that it may need and also asked the CBI to prepare a list of documents in five days that it would need to conduct the investigation.
The six teams have therefore been told to search for documents listed by the CBI in its August 14 letter as well as the ones specified by the CBI in an updated, consolidated list that the investigating agency would be sending.
The ministries of power, steel and Industrial Policy & Promotion were also told to take “similar course of action” at the IMG meeting today.