Nearly 150 files and documents are yet to be received from the Coal Ministry as the CBI now awaits a complaint from the ministry to register a case into their mysterious disappearance.

Senior officials attached with the probe said that every effort was made by the CBI to locate documents and files that were seized during raids earlier.

At the end, the CBI has now informed that some files and documents, mainly recommendation letters of Parliament Members and others, totalling to nearly 150 were still missing, the officials said.

Now the agency awaits a formal complaint from the coal ministry after which a thorough probe will be initiated in the case, the officials said.

The agency cannot register a case unless a complaint is received from the Ministry which would have to concede first that specific files have indeed gone missing and are not in records.

The Supreme Court while hearing the case on August 29 had directed the CBI to give a list of documents, files and information, sought by it, within five days to the Coal Ministry which, in turn, would furnish them within two weeks.

The agency in its letter dated September 2 to Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati had given an exhaustive list of over 50 allocations, the files of which have not been received by it.

The apex court had directed the Coal Ministry that if any document remains untraceable, then FIRs have to be lodged by the Coal Ministry with the CBI within a week thereafter.

Holding that the missing documents are “vital” for the probe in the scam, the apex court directed the Coal Ministry to lodge complaint with the CBI if it fails to trace any document sought by the agency.

“You (Centre) cannot do like this. Your explanation that files are being searched is not reasonable. This will not help,” a three-judge bench headed by Justice R.M. Lodha said.

“Four months have passed. Have you filed an FIR for missing files. Is it an attempt to destroy the records. Truth must come out,” the bench, also comprising justices Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph, had said while taking note that the missing documents pertain to financial aspects of the allocations.

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