CBI ‘made to’ share Coalgate report with government

NEW DELHI: In a damning acknowledgement that rendered law minister Ashwani Kumar’s tenure precarious and pushed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the brink of a huge embarrassment, CBI chief Ranjit Sinha told the Supreme Court on Friday that the agency was made to share the contents of its status report on coal scam probe with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Kumar and the coal ministry

“The draft of the (coal scam investigation) status report was shared with Union minister for law and justice (Kumar) as desired by him prior to its submission before the Supreme Court,” Sinha said in an affidavit in response to the SC’s March 12 order asking him to clarify whether the agency had shared the contents of the status report with the government before it was filed in the apex court on March 8.

The CBI chief told the court that he had to show the status report also to the PMO and the coal ministry because they too were keen on going through its contents before it was placed before the apex court. “Besides the political executive, it was also shared with one joint secretary level officer each of PMO and ministry of coal as desired by them,” Sinha said.

The affidavit contradicted the assertion made by additional solicitor general Harin Raval on CBI’s behalf in the Supreme Court on March 12 that the probe status report was a “classified document meant only for the eyes of the judges”, and that it was not shared with the political executive. The assurance was meant to allay the apprehension of a three-judge bench headed by Justice R M Lodha about political interference in the probe.

Court’s indictment may lead to Ashwani’s ouster

The confirmation of the undue interest taken by the PMO, the law minister and the coal ministry in an investigation conducted by an autonomous agency has rendered the “scam”-hit UPA vulnerable to a big blow from the court on April 30 when the matter is to be heard.

Congress and government sources agreed that Kumar’s continuation as the law minister may become untenable if the court views his intrusive interest as “serious impropriety”. But their worries extend far beyond what may happen to the law minister. Their real concern is the potential repercussions for the PM. As minister for personnel, Singh is in charge of CBI. Not just that, CBI’s investigations into the Coalgate scam cover allocations made when he had held the portfolio. That the coal ministry, which is at the focus of inquiry, should have asked for and got access to the status report was considered audacious even by Congress leaders.

With the opposition immediately asking for the resignations of the PM and the law minister on the ground that the “vetting” was meant to protect Singh, a worried Congress leadership went into a huddle with UPA allies to review the situation. The weekly meeting of the Congress core group also focused on what the court might do on April 30. Senior regime functionaries were apprehensive that the court may ask for the original copy of the CBI’s draft status report to satisfy itself whether the findings were toned down.

Sources said parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath also called on President Pranab Mukherjee to brief him about the unfolding developments which threaten to thicken the perception of sleaze and scam under the UPA, and make a mockery of the claim about CBI being an independent probe agency.

Importantly, the sequence of events leading to the affidavit go back to the suspicion of political meddling with the coal scam probe that the court expressed on April 12. The court seized upon Raval’s claim of government’s hands-off stance towards the probe by directing the CBI chief to state on affidavit that “nothing contained therein (in the status report) has been shared with the political executive”.

In fact, Sinha, in his two-page affidavit, did a tight-rope walk, stopping well short of spelling out that the status report was vetted by either the law minister or the PMO even as he acknowledged that the agency had to share the contents with Kumar as well as joint secretaries in the PMO and the coal ministry when they expressed the desire to take a peek.

Sinha told the court that he would not share future status reports on investigations with the political executive. “The status report being filed before the Supreme Court on April 26, 2013, is personally vetted by me and that I shall continue to personally vet each status report which may be filed before the Supreme Court… I confirm that the present status report being filed in the Supreme Court has not been shared with any political executive in any manner whatsoever,” Sinha said.


About janamejayan

A Viraat Hindu dedicated to spread the message of Paramacharya of Kanchi
This entry was posted in Anti-national Congress Party, Coal Scam, corruption India, Sonia and Mafia. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to CBI ‘made to’ share Coalgate report with government

  1. It is a grave mistake Kamalnath meeting the president . How the neutral president should discuss the issue of the ministry and CBI and hive his opinion when it is the matter pertaining to scam which is with the court?

  2. vaidya k iyer says:

    The corrupt congi has once again proved that it is not only repertoire in corruption and scams but also in shielding it and if need be to plot the sin at other’s door. I wonder it was the cong regime LB Sastry took moral responsibility and resigned as railway minister but now? Thus the corrupted have become ministers and law makers shame!

  3. Hemen Parekh says:

    Supreme in Soup !

    Two days back , Gauhati High Court said ,

    ” CBI is illegal ”

    And placed Supreme Court in a soup – along with the Central Government and the CBI ( – in that order )

    Today , Central Government will appeal to Supreme Court for a stay against HC order

    V. Narayanswamy , Minister of State for Personnel ( to whom CBI reports ) will argue :

    ” CBI has been around for last 50 years. So it should be allowed to continue. This will affect its functioning ”

    But thousands who have been investigated , arrested , tried by CBI Courts and sent behind bars , will counter-argue :

    ” Immediately release us , cancel all cases against us and compensate us for your ‘ Illegal ‘ actions of past 50 years ”

    Irony is :

    In 2G and Coalgate scams , Supreme Court itself ,

    > Directed CBI to investigate

    > Submit regular Status Reports ( without showing to Ministers )

    > Arrest the suspects and chargesheet them

    So , to save its own face , Supreme Court will , no doubt , grant a stay

    But , simultaneously , it must direct the Central Government as follows :

    > Today , there are 3 wings of the government , viz: Legislative / Judiciary
    / Administrative. Amend the Constitution to create a 4th wing , called

    > Make it an independent / autonomous wing under LokPal

    > Make CBI – CAG – CVC – CIC , report to LokPal

    > Make LokPal report to the President of India

    > Under this AUDIT WING Act , retrospectively , validate / legalise , all
    actions taken by CBI since 1963

    > Empower central LokPal to appoint State Lok-Ayukts , without refering
    to the State Governments ( ala , appointments of State Governors )

    In any case , Rahul Gandhi wanted to grant LokPal , the status of a Constitutional Body ( remember his brief speech in Lok Sabha ? )

    He can save UPA – 2 , a lot of embarassment by announcing above-mentioned points in a hurriedly called Press Conference !

    And silence the Opposition Leaders who keep repeating that CBI is ,

    > A ” Caged Parrot ”

    > Hand-maid of the Government

    > Implements ” His Master’s Voice ”

    Forget 1000 tons of Unnao gold

    Start digging the Constitutional Gold , to reverse all Opinion Polls findings !

    * hemen parekh ( 09 Nov 2013 / 9 am )

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