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May 12, 2013 at 09:02am IST

PM's secretary behind tampering of coal report: Jaitley

New Delhi: The BJP has alleged that the CBI coalgate report was tampered with on the directions of the Principal Secretary in the PMO Pulok Chatterjee. Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley made this allegation while speaking to Karan Thapar on Devil's Advocate.

Below is an excerpt of the interview:

Karan Thapar: Do you believe that Mr Shatrughan Singh attended the CBI meeting of his own volition or was he authorised, more importantly was he directed to do so by the PMO head Pulok Chatterjee?

Arun Jaitley: Well, I have no access to facts. But it would be safe to presume that Indian civil servants are trained to be conventional and conservative. They are not adventurist. They don't do these kind of things all by themselves, unless they have a brief to do a particular act. And that's how Indian bureaucracy has been trained conventionally. Therefore, it would be safe to presume even in the absence of any evidence available, evidence can only be provided by them, that they obviously acted under some guidance or instructions.

Karan Thapar: So it follows when Mr Shatrughan Singh came back he would have briefed his bosses presumably Pulok Chatterjee about what happened, what changes were recommended and the fact that they were accepted by the CBI?

Arun Jaitley: Either orally or in writing, this would have been recorded.

Karan Thapar: On the basis of intelligent logical presumption the finger points atleast all the way to Pulok Chatterji, the Prime Minister's principal secretary.

Arun Jaitley: Well, I think we are presuming this and as a matter of presumption you can assume that somebody in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) as certainly guiding the course of events which have taken place.