PM appoints Ashwani Kumar special envoy with cabinet rank

Last Updated: Thu, Aug 22, 2013 11:29 hrs

New Delhi: Nearly three months after he had to resign as Union Law minister in a blaze of controversy, Ashwani Kumar has been appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as his Special Envoy to visit Japan in the rank of a Cabinet Minister.

The Prime Minister has nominated Kumar "to visit for up to seven days as PM's Special Envoy for that period (in the rank and the privileges of a Cabinet Minister) to maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges with Japan....

"And to prepare for the upcoming visit of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan and the Prime Minister of Japan to India," an official letter to Kumar said.

Kumar was under severe pressure to quit from the opposition after the Supreme Court came down heavily on the CBI for allowing the law ministry to vet the draft of CBI probe report on Coalgate.

Commenting on Ashwani Kumar's role as law minister, the apex court had said that a minister can ask for a report but can't interfere with the CBI probe. After which Kumar stepped down in May.

The official letter also said the officers of External Affairs Ministry will be in touch with him to implement the Prime Minister's instructions.

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