The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the CBI Director to file an affidavit explaining why in the agency’s status report dated March 8 no disclosure was made that the draft was shared with the executive and officials.

A Bench of Justices R.M. Lodha, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph also wanted the CBI to indicate on what basis an assertive statement was made at the March 12 hearing, through its counsel, Additional Solicitor General [Harin Raval], that the “report had not been shared with anyone and it was meant for the court alone.”

Senior counsel Uday Lalit, appearing for the CBI, submitted to the court in a sealed cover the draft status report (DSR) and the final report in which changes were made. Though the Bench accepted the report, it wanted the CBI Director to file an affidavit so that the contents could be made known to all.

The other posers made by the Bench to the CBI are: The affidavit now filed on April 26 having candidly stated the DSR was shared with the Law Minister as desired by him prior to its submission to the court and also with a Joint Secretary in the Coal Ministry and an official in the PMO, why haven’t the details been given? Were changes made or not in the DSR and, if yes, the extent of changes made and at whose instance these were made and whether, besides the three mentioned in the affidavit, the draft report was shared with any person?

The court wants to know the names of the officials referred to by the CBI, in its April 26 affidavit, with whom the DSR was shared; the procedure being followed by the CBI under the manual/ guidelines in sharing the status reports on the ongoing investigation called for by the court; the details of the investigation team and CVs of the DIGs and Superintendents of Police handling the investigation in the coal allocation case. The Bench made it clear that the entire information to be furnished must be candid, truthful and founded on records. Justice Lodha told Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati.

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