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Law Minister, PMO saw coal draft report: CBI

Shared with Ashwani Kumar as desired by him; Coal Ministry also had access; final status report not seen by political class, says Ranjit Sinha

Published: 27th April 2013 10:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th April 2013 10:21 AM   |  A+A-

Raising a political storm over Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar’s future, CBI Director Ranjit Sinha on Friday told the Supreme Court that the draft of the status report filed by the investigation agency on March 8, 2013, on the coal allocation scam was shared with the minister prior to it being filed in the apex court.

The CBI director’s statement that the report was shared with the political executive is in direct contradiction of the statement made by the CBI counsel in the apex court during the last date of hearing wherein he said the coalgate report was not shared with any member of the government.

In his two-page affidavit that was filed in the registry of the apex court, Sinha said, “...I submit that the draft (of the status report dated March 8, 2012) was shared with Union Minister for Law and Justice as desired by him prior to its submission before this court. Besides the political executive, it was also shared with one Joint Secretary-level officer each of the PMO and Coal Ministry as desired by them.”

The CBI director said he was filing the affidavit in compliance with the court’s direction. The court order dated March 12, 2013, read: “Let an affidavit be filed by the Director of CBI that the status report submitted before this court dated March 8, 2013, was vetted by him and nothing contained therein has been shared with the political executive. He must also state in the affidavit that the same procedure will be followed in respect of subsequent status reports that may be filed before this court.”

In his reply, the director said, “I confirm that the status report placed before this Hon’ble Court dated 8 March, 2013 was vetted by me. I further confirm that the status report being filed before this court on 26 April, 2013, is personally vetted by me and that I shall continue to personally vet each status report, which may be filed in this matter...”

“I confirm that the present status report being filed in this Hon’ble Court has not been shared with any political executive in any manner whatsoever,” Sinha said, promising that further status reports of the investigation and enquiries required to be filed in this matter before the Supreme Court shall not be shared with any member or officer of the political executive.

Meanwhile, Parliament failed to transact any business for the fourth consecutive day on Friday with Opposition uproar over the coal blocks scam and other issues stalling proceedings in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Sharpening its attack on the government on the coal issue, BJP was adamant on its demand for the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and dismissal of Ashwani Kumar.



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