New Delhi: The Coal Ministry has handed over about 730 files to CBI for probe in the coalgate case and is prepared to give more. "We have handed over about 730 files and folders and application forms to the Central Bureau of Investigation. We have another 10 files and documents with us which we have asked the CBI to collect it from us," a Coal Ministry official said.
The Ministry of Coal had on Tuesday faced the ire of the Supreme Court over its non-cooperation with CBI in the coalgate scam probe by not giving crucial documents. The official also said the Coal Ministry has found 25 out of the 28 files which were non-traceable and prior to 2004.
These 25 files also fall in the list of 730. "Maximum efforts are being made to search the files. The efforts are still on and we have been given strict instructions to provide maximum help to the CBI," the official said.
In April, the Coal Minister Pratik Prakashbapu Patil had said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha that the CBI after registering preliminary enquiries (PEs) has since requisitioned files and documents in original from the Coal Ministry.
He had also said some of the old files primarily to the applications received prior to 2004 are not readily available in the Ministry. However, efforts are being made to make them available by writing to Coal India, Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI) and Ministry of Steel.
"A team from the Ministry of Coal also visited CMPDI and recently has collected old applications... which are also kept ready for handing over to CBI.
He had also said that all possible efforts are made to make available all the required documents and there is regular interaction with the CBI on all such issues.
The apex court was pained as the Ministry, whose senior official was named as one of the persons with whom CBI shared its draft status report, was running away from providing information to the agency.
The bench, also comprising justices Madan B Lokur and Kurien Joseph, said there were certain issues which actually need to be clarified.
"Totally incomplete information was given by the ministry and not what CBI requisitioned," the bench said, adding the list of officers entrusted with the application and their reports on allocation requested by CBI from the Ministry
were not furnished.