Coal scam: Seven deadly sins of govt and CBI

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New Delhi, April 30: The Supreme Court today was angry with the government for the manner in which the CBI investigation report into the allocation of coal blocks had been interfered with and frustrated the very independence of the investigating agency.

The court asked CBI director Ranjit Sinha to file a new "candid and truthful" affidavit explaining why the agency's report had been vetted by the Coal Ministry, Prime Minister's Office and the Law Minister Ashwani Kumar.

While underlining the need to liberate the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from extraneous influences, a bench headed by Justice RM Lodha said the affidavit to be filed by the agency's director should be "absolutely complete and truthful". "Sharing information with the government has shaken the entire process," the judges said.

The court asked pointed questions during two hours of hearing into the coal scam. During the course of the hearing, the court wanted to know whether Law Minister Ashwani Kumar had the authority to call for status reports from the investigating agencies:

· Why was it not disclosed that the March 8 report was shared with the government?

· Why did the CBI say on March 12 that the report was not shared with anyone?

· Was the Law Minister and officials of PMO and Coal ministry entitled to call for agency's probe report?

· Was the report shared with any other officials?

· What were the changes made in the status report and on whose instructions?

· Does this not show erosion of the trust that the court has shown in CBI?

· The Court also questioned the remarks made by Addl. Solicitor General Ravel in his letter to Attorney General GE Vahanvati.

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