No accused or suspect in coal scam let off: CBI chief
A day ahead of filing a crucial affidavit in the Supreme Court on coal scam which has rocked the UPA government, CBI Director Ranjit Sinha today affirmed that the agency's probe into the matter was "clean and clear" and that no accused or suspect had been let off.
The apex court hearing the matter on May 8 may decide the political fate of Union Law Minister Ashwini Kumar who is embroiled in a controversy for having had a meeting with the CBI Director and others on March 5 during which he vetted the draft of the status report on the scam that was to be filed by the CBI on the next day.
At its last hearing on April 12, the court had asked Sinha to file an affidavit stating that the details of the report had not been shared with anyone as claimed by Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval before the court.
Sinha told PTI that no substantive changes were allowed to be made in the status report of the CBI filed on March 6.
"There has been no substantive changes allowed in the report. Both the reports are with the Apex court and the Honble court can ascertain itself. No accused or suspect has been let off and the findings of the report are not tampered with. Its a clean and clear probe," Sinha said on the eve of filing the affidavit in the Supreme Court.
In his earlier affidavit filed on April 26, Sinha had said, "I submit that the draft of the same (status report) was shared with Law Minister as desired by him prior to its submission before the Supreme Court. Besides the political executive, it was also shared with one joint secretary level officer each of Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of Coal as desired by them," the affidavit said.
According to reports, Raval was also present in the meeting which took place on March five.
Sinha said the facts will speak for themselves "as there has been no attempt to mislead the court by the CBI. Let's refrain from making any judgment on the changes and leave it to the Apex court which will take a view on that."
He said this was only the first status report in the matter and that in future no report on the progress of the coal scam probe would be shared with the government.
The CBI chief hoped that the Supreme Court will issue guidelines to the agency for dealing with such cases in future.
"I will be filing my affidavit in the Supreme Court tomorrow about which I cannot share any details to the media but I am hopeful that something positive will emerge from this exercise and Apex court lays down a set of guidelines defining relations between the CBI and the Government and how should the agency respond in similar cases in future."
"After all at the end of the day, we at the CBI and the Supreme court, want only truth to prevail and guilty to be punished."
The CBI Director said that there was no injunction from the Supreme Court earlier that the report should not be shared with anyone.
"But one cannot blame me for the stand taken by ASG in the court. If he (Raval) would have checked with the CBI, We would have ensured that nothing is hidden from the Apex court and would have informed that the report has been shared with the law Minister as per his desire.
Sinha said that the CBI was very much dependent on the government. "We are neither a constitutional nor a statutory body. The CBI reports to the Department of Personnel. We depend on the government for everything including filing of an appeal, in case we feel aggrieved in some case decided by the courts."
The CBI Director also asked media to play a constructive role and stop blowing things out of proportion. "If I have routine meetings with Government functionaries and law officers which have nothing to do with the case, it becomes a breaking news. We have to do our job. We are not criminals that we cannot meet anyone.
"Media nowadays actually breaks and twists the facts to suit its agenda. This is a dangerous trend," he said.