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Both law minister and PMO saw coal scam report: CBI admits

Last updated on: April 26, 2013 13:02 IST

Both law minister and PMO saw coal scam report: CBI admits

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Setting off a political bombshell, Central Bureau of Investigation Director Ranjit Sinha on Friday submitted before the Supreme Court that the agency's status report on coal allocation scam was "shared" with Law Minister Ashwani Kumar "as desired by him" and that senior officials of PMO and Coal ministry had also seen it.

Sinha's two-page affidavit filed on the direction of the apex court contradicts the claim made by CBI counsel on the last date of hearing that the coalgate scam report was not shared with any member of the government.

"I submit that the draft (status report)of the same was shared with Law Minister as desired by him prior to its submission before the Supreme Court.... it was also shared with one joint secretary level officer each of Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of Coal as desired by them," the affidavit said.

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Both law minister and PMO saw coal scam report: CBI admits

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The affidavit triggered a political storm with the Opposition saying the Law Minister's continuance in office has become untenable and demanded his resignation.

On his part, Kumar said, "Truth will prevail".

The CBI Director said whatever he had to say, it was before the apex court.

In his affidavit, Sinha assured the apex court that the agency will not share further status reports in this case with any member of the political executive.

He also said that the latest status report being filed on Friday has not been shared with any political executive in "any manner whatsoever".

"I confirm that the present status report being filed in this court has not been shared with any political executive in any manner whatsoever.

"In respect of further status reports of the investigation and inquiry required to be filed in this matter before this court, I undertake and assure this court that the same shall not be shared with any political executive," the affidavit said.

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Both law minister and PMO saw coal scam report: CBI admits

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The affidavit was filed in compliance with the Supreme Court's order which, in an unprecedented move on March 12, had directed the CBI director to assure the court that the status report in the coalgate scam is not being shared with the government. Sinha was directed him to file an affidavit in this regard.

The affidavit belies the claim made by Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval on behalf of CBI on March 12 that the probe report in the scam has not been shared with any member of the government and it is only shared with the apex court after being vetted by the CBI director.

Earlier, the CBI and the Centre had clashed over the coalgate scam with the agency telling the apex court that there have been "arbitrary allotments without scrutiny" in the coal blocks allocation during UPA-I tenure and the government vehemently refuting the findings saying that the "CBI is not the final word on this."

In the status report filed by CBI on March 8, the agency had said that the coal block allocation during 2006-09 was done without verifying the credentials of companies which allegedly misrepresented facts about themselves and no rationale was given by the coal ministry in giving coal blocks to them.




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