As part of its investigation into the coal block allocation scam, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today grilled former chairman cum managing director (CMD) of Hindalco SK Tamotia for the second time in a week. The questioning lasted five hours, sources said.
Though CBI officials remained tight-lipped about the raid saying it would affect the ongoing investigation, they are believed to have seized some valuable documents from Tamotia’s residence here.
According to reliable sources, a five-member team of the investigating agency conducted a raid at the N2/58, Nayapalli residence of Tamotia here and quizzed the former Hindalco CMD for about five hours. The agency, it may be noted, had questioned the former chairman on October 15 seeking information on the coal block scam.
Tamotia had joined the Aditya Birla Group after retiring as the CMD of state-owned aluminum major Nalco.
Having registered a first information report (FIR) against the company and Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla for wrongful allocation of the Talabira II and III coal block in Jharsusguda district, CBI has referred the matter to the Income-Tax Department for a parallel probe. It is conducting an inquiry as to how Hindalco was allocated Talabira-II coal block in Jharsuguda district after the screening committee rejected the proposal of Hindalco.
Meanwhile, the Odisha government officials are spending sleepless nights after reports that the agency has drawn up a list of senior Odisha bureaucrats and former bureaucrats who were involved in the processing of files on coal block allocation. These senior officials are set to be questioned by the CBI soon.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is also likely to be questioned at a later date for recommending the allocation of the coal block to the Aditya Birla group company.