NEW DELHI, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- India's top court on Monday constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to probe allegations of abuse of authority committed by country's former head of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Ranjit Sinha.
The Supreme Court said the SIT headed by present CBI chief Alok Verma would look into allegations that Sinha tried to scuttle investigation, inquiries and prosecutions being carried out by the probe agency in coal block allocation cases, commonly known as coal scam in India.
A previous apex court-appointed panel had prima facie indicted Sinha.
Political analysts say it is for the first time that a CBI chief will himself be probed to ascertain whether he misused his power and position.
India's national auditor, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in 2012 pointed out that country's coal mining rights were sold off at cheaper rates to private companies. According to CAG the lack of transparency incurred a loss of around 33 billion U.S. dollars.
A total of 218 coal licences allocated by various Indian governments led by parties including Congress and rightwing Bhartiya Janta Party between 1993-2010 came under scanner.
In 2014 apex court scraped 214 of 218 licences after finding lack of transparency and irregularities in their allocations.
Most of the licences were allocated during Congress party government led by former Prime Minister Manomhan Singh.
Known as one of the India's cleanest politicians, Singh in 2015 was questioned by CBI and later summoned by court in the scandal.
According to a 2015 report of Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International, India ranks 76th out of 175 countries on the global corruption index.