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PM decided 2005 coal block allocation: ex-secretary

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Story Dated: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 05:20 hrs EDT

It was Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who decided the allocation of two coal blocks in Odisha in 2005 over which the CBI has filed FIRs, former coal secretary P.C. Parekh said Wednesday.

Parekh made the statement a day after the FIRs were filed against Parekh and industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla for alleged irregularities and criminal conspiracy in the allocation of the two blocks.

"I don't think this is any serious issue at all. There is no case in what CBI is trying to make out. It was a very fair and correct decision which we took... I made a proposal and the prime minister took a decision," he said.

"If the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) sees a conspiracy, who is behind the conspiracy?

"Kumar Manglam BIrla who made a representation, I who made a recommendation, or prime minister who took the decision?"

He said if there was indeed a conspiracy, the prime minister, who headed the coal ministry then, was equally involved.

"I don't know why the CBI thinks Birla and I are in a conspiracy, but the person who took a decision is not a part of (the) conspiracy. If a conspiracy is there, everyone is part of the conspiracy. If we are accused, PM is as much a part of the conspiracy," Parekh told TimesNow.

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