Suspecting serious irregularities,the CBI has registered a preliminary enquiry into the allotment of 62 offshore mining blocks by the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) last year. The allotments made to 16 companies for grant of the offshore exploration licences was done in an arbitrary manner by the IBM,says the PE registered last Friday.
The CBI suspects the 16 companies selected did not have the required technical capability and a majority of them were registered and incorporated after the IBM issued its notification for allocation in June 2010. The PE also alleges that there had been cartelisation in the process.
CBI officers said the cartelisation allegation referred to a group of five companies which had bagged 28 of the 62 oil exploration blocks and were owned by immediate relatives of a suspended Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer against whom the CBI has registered other cases.
Many of the selected companies have shown themselves as a part of a group of companies promoted by the same directors and were registered at the same address which also points towards applicants having resorted to cartelisation to corner most of the exploration blocks, says the PE registered against unknown public servants of IBM and other unknown persons/companies.