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Coal scam: SC hearing today; Govt's top law officers in a war of words


Ashok Bagriya, Pallavi Ghosh, CNN-IBN
Apr 30, 2013 at 08:07am IST

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the coal scam case on Tuesday and decide whether the government tried to influence the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe. But there's more embarrassment for the UPA government ahead of the hearing with its top law officers in a war of words.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called a meeting late on Monday night of Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran and Law Minister Ashwani Kumar to discuss the fallout of the letter written by Additional Solicitor General and CBI counsel in the case Harin Raval, to Attorney General GE Vahanvati. In that letter, he accuses the Attorney General of interfering in the CBI's case.

ALSO SEE CBI coal scam affidavit: Centre may back Law Minister in SC on Tuesday

As a fallout, sources say neither Vahanvati nor Raval may be present in the Supreme Court on Tuesday for that crucial hearing. The government is likely to be represented by Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran and Additional Solicitor General Paras Kuhad and the CBI will be represented by UU Lalit.

Raval in his letter has alleged that he has been made a scapegoat in the case. Raval also says that the AG had interfered in the CBI case and lastly Raval also narrates the sequence of event of the meeting between the AG and Law Minister in preparing the coal report.

ALSO SEE Coalgate: Additional Solicitor General alleges he is being made a scapegoat by Attorney General

Raval has written the letter to clear the air surrounding the misleading statement made in the court on March 12. On March 12, both the Attorney General and ASG had told the court that the coal report was not shared by the CBI with any political executive. But subsequently to the embarrassment of the government, the CBI director in an affidavit on last Friday told the SC that the coal scam report was shared with the Law Minister and two officers from the PMO and Coal Ministry.

As the government gears to deal with the CBI director's affidavit in the apex court on Tuesday, the letter written hours before the crucial hearing is further going to embarrass the government.

ALSO SEE Coal scam: PM met A-G on Sunday to discuss CBI's affidavit

The Opposition reacting to the letter has hit out at the Prime Minister. "The Government of India colluded with Raval in willful misinterpretation of facts before the SC. We are more concerned to know what the accountability of the Prime Minster is because the Prime Minister himself is an object of investigation," BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Meanwhile, sources have told CNN-IBN that government is likely to tell the apex court that the Law Minister did no wrong in seeing CBI's report.

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