New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sources said on Sunday that the investigative agency will inform the Supreme Court that Law Minister Ashwani Kumar tried to interfere in its status report on the coal scam. Sources also said the CBI will go ahead with its own report and not the one allegedly modified by the Law Minister.
They further added that the CBI had attended the meeting on the status report with Ashwani Kumar due to the pressure imposed by him. Questions are now being raised on whether Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had any information about the Law Minister's interference. Attacking the government over the controversy, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has ordered an SIT probe into the allegations.
Meanwhile, against the backdrop of the reports that the government had allegedly vetted CBI's report on the coal block allocation scam, the Law Minister was learnt to have met top officers on Saturday to discuss the ramifications and the future course of action.
Sources said during the meeting Kumar discussed the issue with ministry officials. There were indications that the Law Ministry was inclined to keep an arms length from the affidavit the CBI was to sumbit to the Supreme Court on whether its report has been shared with the political executive.
Reports are that the Law Minister had summoned CBI chief Ranjit Sinha and the report was changed and toned down after the meeting. "The reports are speculative. We are yet to file an affidavit before the Supreme Court," the CBI Director said on Saturday when asked about his reaction."
Asked about the alleged meetings with the Law Minister and PMO officials, he said, "We cannot comment on it and would disclose everything before the Supreme Court only." The CBI had filed a status report on its probe in alleged irregularities in allocation of coal mines before the Supreme Court on March 8 where it had claimed that coal block allocation during 2006-09 was done without verifying the credentials of companies which allegedly misrepresented facts about themselves.
(With additional information from PTI)