New Delhi: The CBI is likely to close its preliminary enquiry related to disinvestment of Hindustan Zinc Limited as it is understood to have got no material indicating any malafide so far.
CBI sources said the enquiry is likely to be closed soon as the agency found no evidence indicating any quid pro quo to swing the decision, which was a policy decision of the government.
The agency had in December 2013 registered a preliminary enquiry against Vedanta Group Chairman Anil Agarwal and unknown officials in connection with alleged irregularities in the disinvestment of HZL in 2002 when NDA was in power at the Centre.
In the course of enquiry, CBI had examined the then disinvestment minister Arun Shourie among others.
The agency felt that the loss caused to the exchequer due to the alleged irregularities ran into hundreds of crores of rupees. It was alleged that Sterlite Industries, part of Vedanta Resources, had picked up stake in the public sector undertaking at an undervalued price, CBI sources had said at the time of registering the PE.
The company has since been merged with another group Sesa Goa and renamed Sesa Sterlite.
A statement issued at the time of disinvestment by the concerned ministry had justified the stake sale to Sterlite, saying there was a spurt in the share prices of HZL after the successful disinvestment of VSNL, IBP, etc.
The statement had said two price bids were received from Indo Gulf Corporation and Sterlite Opportunities and Ventures Limited (a special purpose vehicle of Sterlite) and both were above the reserve price of Rs 32.15 per share (translating into Rs 353.17 crore) for 26 per cent stake.
"The higher bid, that of M/s Sterlite Opportunities and Ventures Limited for Rs 445 crore (translating to about Rs.40.50 per share) was accepted," it had said.