Make CBI independent or we will step in, SC tells govt

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coal-scam
New Delhi, May 8: If the CBI is not made independent, we will step in, said the Supreme Court today.

On law minister Ashwani Kumar's role in the coal scam probe draft report, the apex court said that a minister can ask for a report but can't interfere with the CBI probe.

The court told the government to make the CBI impartial. The court said it needs to be ensured that the CBI functions free of all external pressures.

Making a scathing comment on the functioning of the investigating agency, the apex court said that the affidavit filed by CBI shows that it has many masters.

The court questioned how the CBI could have regular interactions with the ministry officials and told the agency that the job of CBI is not to interact with government officials but to interrogate to find the truth.

The court also took to task the officials, one from Prime Minister's Office and another from Coal Ministry, and asked "what business does the two joint secretaries have in visiting the CBI office?"

The apex court observations came on CBI director Ranjit Sinha's second affidavit filed on Monday, stating that the law minister and senior officials of the PMO and coal ministry had made changes in the coal scam probe report.

Sinha in his second affidavit to SC had given details of meetings with Ashwani Kumar, Vahanvati, ex-additional solicitor general Haren Raval and Shatrughna Singh and A K Bhalla, joint secretaries of the PMO and the coal ministry during which changes in the reports were made by them.

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