Law Minister Ashwani Kumar's fate hung in balance as the Supreme Court takes on record on Tuesday CBI Director's affidavit and the agency's status report on the coal blocks allocation scam that was shared with the minister and senior officials of PMO and Coal ministry.
Hectic consultations were on in the government involving top officials including legal experts on the stand to be taken during the court hearing. Attorney General G E Vahanvati met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the week.
There was no official word on what the two discussed but it is believed that they could have gone over what the government should say in the court, which already been conveyed what the agency wanted to say and what it finally said in the status report.
The CBI had submitted to the court last week the contents of its original investigation details along with the changes made in them.
The hearing by a three-judge bench assumes significance as any adverse remarks against the government or the law minister on the alleged interference in the preparation of the status report may hit the government making Kumar's continuance in the Cabinet untenable.
The opposition has been demanding the dismissal of Kumar and has alleged that he has been used as a "shield" by the prime minister to "safeguard" himself. The BJP has also demanded the prime minister's resignation.
The bench headed by Justice R M Lodha will also go through the latest status report filed by the CBI in the multi-crore scam.
In an embarrassing admission, CBI Director Ranjit Sinha had last week filed an affidavit in the court saying that its probe report on coal allocation scam was shared with the law minister and Joint-Secretary level officials of PMO and Coal ministry.