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Updated: May 7, 2013 03:57 IST

Ashwani Kumar changed scope of coal enquiry: CBI

J. Venkatesan
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Ashwani Kumar
The Hindu
Ashwani Kumar

Affidavit details meetings among CBI officials and officials in PMO and law ministry, which discussed changes in status report

CBI Director Ranjit Sinha on Monday told Supreme Court that Law Minister Ashwani Kumar made changes in the agency’s draft status report (DSR) on the coal scam case. Mr. Kumar, he said, deleted a sentence that included the legality of coal allocations in the scope of the CBI’s enquiry.

The case comes up for further hearing on Wednesday before a three-judge Bench headed by Justice R. M. Lodha.

In a fresh affidavit, Mr. Sinha claimed that the Minister only saw the DSR on the preliminary enquiry (PE2 that dealt with allocations between 2006 and 2OO9). Mr. Kumar deleted from the draft report a finding about the screening committee not preparing any chart about the coal block applicants and a sentence about the “scope of enquiry with respect to legality of allocations while amendments in law were in process.”

The nine-page affidavit gave details of the meetings which took place among the CBI officials, the Law Minister, the Attorney-General, the then Additional Solicitor General, Harin Raval, and officials of PMO and the Coal Ministry. Mr. Sinha’s submission contradicts the stand taken by the Minister and the AG, who had refuted the allegation that they had suggested changes in the draft report.

It also said “the tentative finding about the non-existence of a system regarding allocation of specific weightage/points was deleted at the instance of the officials of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Ministry of Coal.” Also, at the instance of the officials of the PMO and Ministry of coal, a sentence describing the non-availability of approved guidelines for coal block allocation was included in the final status report pertaining to PE4.

Attorney General G. E. Vahanvati too asked for changes.

The CBI Director submitted in a sealed cover the changes made in the DSRs but said “it is difficult at this stage to attribute each change to a particular person with certainty.” It said that most of the changes were done to refine the reports in consultation with Mr. Harin Raval, the then Additional Solicitor General who resigned recently. On Mr. Raval’s submission in the court on March 12 that “the status report dated March 8 has not been shared with anyone and it is meant only for the court,” the affidavit said the submission was not made as per CBI instructions and the ASG had made the statement on his own.

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So, Indians will now get enlightened that grammatical changes - made
in high places - effectively mean, 'deletion' from the draft report
'(of) a 'FINDING' about the screening committee not preparing any
chart about the coal block applicants AND a sentence about the “scope
of enquiry with respect to legality of allocations" while amendments
in law 'were in process' and such correction of grammatical errors
could be made by some one in the Government, even when there is
explicit order from the highest court of the land not to share the
report to any one in the government and give the findings in a sealed
cover, only to the court!
Can any one name any institution that has not been subjected to such
audacious onslaught, especially, in the UPA-2 regime?
If there was indeed any compelling need to uphold equity and fair
play, to make such 'grammatical changes', would it have been unlawful
to get necessary permission from the Supreme Court? Are the laws
different for common folks and VIPs?

from:  Shekar
Posted on: May 7, 2013 at 09:09 IST

The critical issue is the scope of the enquiry. The minister 'deleted a
sentence that included the legality of coal allocations in the scope of
the CBI’s enquiry. Anyway, if the Supreme Court is able to render
justice on the basis of this input, Indian democracy would be alive and
kicking. The Hindu deserves the gratitude of the nation for the
principled stand on this vital matter.

from:  kaliappan
Posted on: May 7, 2013 at 06:31 IST

Unbelievable levels of abuse of power is taking place in the UPA govt
and the people are powerless.

from:  Mahesh
Posted on: May 7, 2013 at 03:13 IST

Reading the quotes of Mr. Sinha in this report, it is clear that he does not have the foggiest
idea about the nature of his job or his responsibilities to protect the independence of CBI. It
is clerks who look to manuals for guidance; not the chief executive of the organization. He
should have sufficient sense of what is appropriate behaviour on the part of his organization.
The whole affair smacks of attempts at collusion and compromise. Memory failure is hardly
an explanation for gross incompetence. It is abundantly clear clear that he, involved officials
in the CBI, various government departments and politicians must go. It is not how much of
the report was changed by these people, it is that they have managed to once again prove
that the cynics who think that the whole system is rotten and beyond redemption right. For
the sake of the country and those who believe that some good can come out of all this, they
should resign. If not, they should be made to go.

from:  Hoshiar Singh
Posted on: May 6, 2013 at 20:10 IST
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