CBI files fresh status report in SC on coal blocks

Last Updated: Mon, Jul 08, 2013 21:52 hrs

New Delhi: The CBI on Monday filed in the Supreme Court a status report on its ongoing investigation into the alleged irregularities committed in the allocation of coal blocks between 2006-09.

The report was filed in a sealed cover.

The report would be taken up for consideration Wednesday by the apex court bench of Justice RM Lodha, Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph which is hearing two petitions seeking cancellation of coal blocks allocated in an irregular manner and probe by the special investigation team (SIT).

The petitions were filed by NGO Common Cause and advocate petitioner ML Sharma.

The apex court is monitoring the CBI probe into the coal blocks allocation scam.

The CAG while adversely commenting on the procedure followed in the allocation of coal blocks had estimated that it caused public exchequer a loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore.

During the period under investigation, the government received 2,100 applications out of which 160 applicants were allocated 368 coal blocks. In earlier hearings, the court inquired under what circumstances 950 applications were not found eligible.

During the last hearing May 8, the court had taken exception to the then union law minister Ashwani Kumar vetting the CBI's status report on its investigations in the scam that was to be filed in the apex court.

An angry court had asked "whether the central government intends to bring some law to ensure the independence of the CBI and its functional autonomy and insulate it from extraneous influences and interferences and making it a non-partisan investigating agency".

While describing the CBI's functioning as one of a "caged parrot that speaks in different voices of different masters", the court said: "The CBI must know how to stand up against all pulls and pressures by government and its officials."

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