This refers to the report “Missing coal files disrupt House” (Aug.21). Does the Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal mean that more than 200 files in possession with the authorities concerned just hid themselves? It is clear that there is a massive scandal in the name of “coal allocation,” with increasingly unacceptable statements emanating from the government.

Kosheel Gupta, Patiala

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a simple, honest, straightforward but non-committal soul. That said, I just can’t understand his silence on the missing Coalgate files. The Coal Minister has already goofed up on the issue in Parliament. The National Food Security Bill is delayed and Parliament has been rendered non-functional. The Prime Minister should “bow” down to the Opposition demand and make a simple, non-committal but reassuring statement in the House. That will take the wind out of the Opposition’s sails and the UPA can literally run riot in Parliament!

Col. C.V. Venugopalan (retd.), Palakkad

It is baffling how so many important files can go missing. In fact, there is a movement register in every government department, where any file taken out or put back in has to be recorded in it. If the government cannot protect important files, how can it protect us from external aggression?

N. Mohan, Chennai

The turn of events prove beyond any doubt that there has been considerable anomaly in the allocation of coal blocks. If the government is so seriously concerned about the missing file,s why has no FIR been registered? If this is the quality of governance at the top, one can well imagine its quality at the grass roots.

Punya Jyoti Boruah, New Delhi

The case of the missing files took me down memory lane to the 1970s when I was a young sub-registrar in remote Kilanilai village in Pudukkottai district, Tamil Nadu, where I registered a mortgage deed in favour of a cooperative society. It was mandatory for the parties to get back the document after registration within 10 days or else a fine of 25 paise for a day (12 paise concession for coop. societies) would be levied. On the 11th day, when the parties turned up, I collected only 10 paise instead of 12 paise, as there was no 2 paise coin and returned the document. In the departmental audit, I was severely reprimanded for the loss of 2 paise to the government. It was recorded and I had to ensure that it was paid within two months. And to think that the coal scam has been valued in crores!

R. Rajendra Singh, Pudukottai

Suppression of the truth by devious means is nothing new for our corrupt and greedy politicians who manage this democratic nation. Values and ethics have eroded and plummeted to such abysmal depths now that these elements have become brazen in protecting their tainted and dark turf by rendering key files untraceable. What is appalling is that no minister has taken moral responsibility for what has happened. Those in power seem to have the skin of an elephant.

The loss to the exchequer is staggering and can support lofty welfare schemes. I wonder what the Supreme Court will have to say now.

Ramakrishna Thakur, Prakasam

The Opposition is fully justified in raising the demand that there be a thorough probe in the matter. If the files remain untraceable, then the Supreme Court must suo motu cancel all coal block allocations from 1993 to 2005 and start fresh auctions.

Nityanand Jha, Kanpur

The BJP needs to be reminded that the period pertaining to the missing files involves the time when it was in power too (editorial, Aug.21). Nonetheless, to think that a bunch of critical documents could just disappear is puzzling to the average citizen. Are there no computerised data storage facilities in the government? Even more appalling is the fact that the country’s premier investigative agency has been unable to detect even a single file. Disillusionment is an understatement. We need to summon the Scotland Yard.

Aditya Radhakrishnan, Faridabad

The executive or ruling class is free to do anything without restrictions. The legislature has lost all credibility and we citizens view its members as representative of a mockery of parliamentary democracy. Judicial interference is our final hope. The Supreme Court should intervene immediately before there is further damage to the remaining files. The CBI must be directed to confiscate all the files and deposit them in the Supreme Court immediately.

V.M. Muralidharan, Karumalloor

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