The Congress Saturday refuted claims of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that the CBI was working under pressure, saying the investigative agency has been functioning independently.
"CBI is not under any pressure and is working independently," Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters, in reply to allegations from the BJP that the government was not allowing the CBI to work independently.
On a news report in the The Indian Express that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government "vetted" the coal blocks allocations probe status report before it was submitted to the Supreme Court, Alvi said the matter was pending before the apex court.
"The matter is pending in the Supreme Court and we do not interfere in court proceedings," he said.
The report said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe report, submitted last month, had been vetted by Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and officials of the Prime Minister's Office.
It further said that senior CBI officials, including Director Ranjit Sinha, were summoned by Kumar days before the status report was filed.
During the meeting with Kumar, several amendments in the status report were suggested and some also incorporated by the CBI, the paper suggested.
India's official auditor had last year revealed that the lack of transparency in the allocation of coal blocks to private players resulted in the loss of a whopping Rs.1.85 lakh crore($37 billion) to the national exchequer as on March 11, 2011.