New Delhi, Apr 30 (PTI): Under attack for sharing the CBI probe report on coal blocks allocation scam with the government, agency Director Ranjit Sinha today admitted that changes were made in the draft report and he has given full details of this to the Supreme Court.
Asked by reporters about the contents of the status report submitted to the apex court today, Sinha said the agency has given full details about the original draft and the “amended draft” of the status report including changes that have been brought about and on whose instructions.
“Whatever Supreme Court has observed, we will reply to it in our affidavit before May 6,” he said.
Sinha said he would explain circumstances in which he went to the Law Minister’s office.
Earlier today, the agency drew flak from the Supreme Court for sharing its status report with the Law Minister and senior officials of the PMO and the Coal ministry.
The apex court said that sharing of information with the government about the probe into the scam has “shaken the entire process” and CBI need not take instructions from “political masters” on their probe.
Following the comments of the apex court, Sinha went into a huddle with his senior officers to decide the future course of action.
Emerging from a 30-minute meeting at his North Block office, Sinha said he would respond to all queries raised by the Supreme Court today in his affidavit as directed.
When asked whether he would demand more autonomy from Supreme Court, Sinha said, “It is a matter between government and judiciary, I cannot comment on that.”
He said it is for them to take a call on what type of autonomy needs to be given to the investigating agency and under what circumstances it should interact with the political masters.
Sinha had, in a two-page affidavit, admitted before the SC that its status report on the coal blocks probe was shared with Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and joint secretary level officers in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Coal Ministry.
The admission triggered an opposition attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demands for Law Minister’s resignation. The demand was, however, rejected by Singh.
“I submit that the draft of the same (status report) was shared with Law Minister as desired by him prior to its submission before the Supreme Court. Besides the political executive, it was also shared with one joint secretary level officer each of Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Coal as desired by them,” Sinha had said.
The affidavit, filed on the direction of the apex court, was contrary to submission made by Additional Solicitor General Hiren Raval before SC that the coalgate scam report was not shared with any member of the government.
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 its status report filed on March 8, the CBI 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.
CBI has so far registered 11 FIRs in the matter.