Despite several instances on interference, both the agency and the UPA have repeatedly claimed that the CBI is completely independent when investigating politically sensitive cases.
According a report in The Indian Express, senior CBI officials were summoned by the law minister days before the status report was filed. During the meeting, also attended by some officials of the law ministry, several amendments in the status report were suggested and some also incorporated by the CBI.
"We resisted as much as we could, but yes, some toning down was done following the meeting," a CBI officer present at the meeting in Shastri Bhavan said.
The CBI's status report was similarly "vetted'' by senior PMO officials. The CBI's stand in the report, submitted to the apex court on March 8, differs from that of the government. The report pointed out irregularities in coal blocks allotment made in 2006-09 during UPA-1, and said it was done without verifying the credentials of companies which allegedly misrepresented facts about themselves.
The government had refuted the CBI's findings in the court on March 12, with Attorney General G E Vahanvati saying the CBI could not be the "final word" on it.
But in an unprecedented move, the Supreme Court had asked Sinha to clarify through an affidavit if the status report had been examined by the government as Vahanvati, when asked, told the court he had not gone through the report.
A bench of Justices R M Lodha, J Chelameswar and Madan B Lokur had directed Sinha to file an affidavit affirming that the status report submitted by the agency to the court in a sealed cover had not been "shared with the political executive".
Reacting to this, BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Saturday demanded an SIT probe into the coal block allocation scam.
Jaitley said the UPA government is a rogue govt, which will not allow the CBI to operate independently.