After facing flak from the Supreme Court, the government has re-appointed senior Indian Police Service officer Ravi Kant in the Central Bureau of Investigation to complete the probe in the high-profile coal blocks allocation case.
Ravi Kant, a 1998-batch IPS officer of Odisha cadre, will return to the Intelligence Bureau after completion of his assignment.
"Approval of the competent authority is conveyed for re-appointment of Ravi Kant, IPS as deputy inspector general CBI for the purpose of enquiry and investigation into allocation of coal blocks. Ravi Kant, IPS will be reverted back to IB on completion of assigned duties in CBI," said an order issued on Tuesday by the department of personnel and training, which acts as nodal department for administrative matters of the investigating agency.
The DoPT's directive has been sent to CBI Director Ranjit Sinha for necessary action.
While hearing a case related to coal blocks allocation, the Supreme Court had on May 8 asked the Centre and the CBI to take immediate steps to repatriate Ravi Kant, who was the investigating officer in the multi-crore scam. He was sent to the IB on promotion as DIG from superintendent of police.
The CBI had, however, said the officer had completed his tenure in the agency and left because of "family reasons" even though he was given an extension. The CBI has so far registered 11 FIRs in the coal blocks allocation scam.
The Supreme Court had also rapped the CBI for sharing its draft status report with the then law minister Ashwani Kumar and two joint secretary level officers -- Shatrughna Singh and A K Bhalla -- in the Prime Minister's Office and the coal ministry respectively before submitting it.
"The CBI has become a caged parrot. We can't have CBI a caged parrot speaking in master's voice. It is a sordid saga where there are many masters and one parrot," the court had observed during a hearing.
Following the developments, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had on May 14 constituted a group of ministers to draft a law on ways to ensure greater autonomy for the CBI. Finance Minister P Chidambaram led GoM will submit its findings in this regard to the apex court before July 10, next day of hearing of the case.