Terming the replacement of its officer supervising some cases pertaining to the coal mining scam as a "routine affair", the Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday said he had completed his tenure and left because of "family reasons", even though an extension was offered to him.
Demanding a Special Investigation Team’s probe into alleged "blatant" interference by the Centre into the CBI probe, NGO Common Cause has highlighted in its petition before the Supreme Court that the CBI officer who was supervising the investigation and who had filed its affidavit has been replaced.
"Mr Ravikant who was the SP in some of the coal allocation cases has completed his tenure in CBI as SP. Extension was offered and even insisted upon but he agreed for only a year as DIG and himself sought to move out of the CBI due to family reasons. He was relieved at the end of March," CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra said.
A 1998-batch IPS officer of Odisha cadre, Ravikant was heading the probe in several cases related to alleged irregularities in the coal mine allocation and joined the Intelligence Bureau after leaving the CBI.
In its interim application, the NGO submitted that the alleged "blatant interference" by the government is not only unlawful and a criminal offence, it amounts to contempt of court and the same has to be probed by a special investigative team.
It alleged that the CBI was not fit to probe the scam, as the agency, at the instance of the government, has "changed and diluted" a status report which it was to file before the Supreme Court.
The agency had termed the reported allegation as speculative but did not deny the alleged meeting where the status report was purportedly toned down.