Government has interfered for 2nd time in coal scam probe: BJP

Published: 04th June 2013 06:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th June 2013 06:17 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

Expressing concern over government not allowing CBI to question former Coal Secretary H C Gupta, BJP today said this is the second time that the Centre has interfered in coalgate probe after then Law Minister Ashwani Kumar "tampered" with the status report.

"There has been a crisis of confidence as far as CBI functioning is concerned. Earlier, attempts were made by the government to interfere in its affairs when the Law Minister was found tampering with the status report on coalgate. Now it has denied permission to CBI to question Mr Gupta," BJP spokesperson Abhimanyu told reporters.

Government has turned down a request of CBI to question Gupta, at present a member of Competition Commission of India, in connection with the coal blocks allocation scam. Latest reports say CBI is likely to make a fresh request.

"This is the second instance of government interference in the CBI probe into the coal scam. BJP condemns this move," Abhimanyu said.

Kumar had to resign from the post of Law Minister after it was revealed that he had vetted the CBI status report on coalgate and made some significant changes in it.

BJP President Rajnath Singh had earlier demanded that since Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held the coal portfolio when the controversial block allocations were made, he should introspect on who should be held accountable.

"Whom was the Law Minister trying to protect when he interfered with the CBI status report? Should not the Prime Minister take moral responsibility for the scam," Abhimanyu asked.

BJP demanded that the Supreme Court take full cognisance of the coal scam probe and appoint a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the case. The party further demanded that the apex court monitor developments in the case on a day-to-day basis.

Abhimanyu also pressed for the cancellation of all controversial coal block allocations as was done in the case of 2G spectrum allocations.

"The loss of funds to the exchequer in the coal scam should also be recovered from the guilty," he said.

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