CBI files affidavit in SC on probe into coal block allocations

Last Updated: Fri, Apr 26, 2013 07:30 hrs

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday filed an affidavit in the Supreme court on its probe into the coal block allocations.

The CBI informed the apex court that the final affidavit filed by it, is independent.

CBI Director Ranjit Sinha stated that the previous draft of the status report was shared with Union Law and Justice Minister Ashwani Kumar as desired by him.

In the two page affidavit, the CBI also said it was also shown to Joint Secretary in PMO and the coal ministry officials.

He promised that the CBI would not share the contents of status report with the executive branch of the government further.

Questioning the government on this, senior advocate Prashant Bhushan asked: " What kind of independent investigation can we expect from the CBI?"

"The status report was shared with PMO,Law Minister and ministers of the coal ministry," he added.

He claimed that many within the government had tried to interfere with the CBI's report on the coal block allocation scam.

Friday's developments in the apex court come days after the BJP alleged that the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) had pressurised the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to tone down the coal scam report that it was to submit to the Supreme Court.

A leading Indian daily in its report had published that Law Minister Ashwani Kumar had met the Director of CBI, Ranjit Sinha, asking for changes in the CBI"s report on the coal scam, to be submitted in the Supreme Court.

The government has been embroiled in the scam over allocation of coal blocks, nicknamed by the media as Coal Gate since March 2012.

Citing the observations of the country"s Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) the media had indicated that coalfields were allocated without a transparent bidding process, causing a loss of 1. 86 lakh crores to the public exchequer.

Dr Manmohan Singh, who was holding the portfolio of Coal Ministry from 2006 to 2009 when most of the allocations were made, has denied any wrongdoing and pointed out that it, was his government that proposed competitive bidding.

Assailing the Congress party for dragging the name of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in the 2G spectrum scam, senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad had said that his party would launch a nation-wide campaign to expose such negative propaganda mooted by the government.

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