New Delhi, Aug 23: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was ready to speak on missing coal allocation files in Rajya Sabha days after the files went missing. "We are ready to speak, but the opposition is not ready to listen," said the Prime Minister's Office.
The PM's response was stalled as a major contradiction emerged on the exact number of missing files relevant to CBI's investigation into coal block allocations to private parties at throwaway prices.
According to NDTV reports, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told Rajya Sabha that only seven coal files wanted by the CBI were missing. The CBI had said it was waiting for 225 files to follow up on all 13 FIRs - or police complaints - filed in the case.
Jaiswal said 769 files, documents and papers, amounting to a total of 1,50,000 pages, have been handed over to the CBI, along with 26 CDs.
"The CBI had asked for 43 files, of which 21 were handed over, and 15 are available for handing over. We are trying to find seven missing files," said the Coal Minister.
Yesterday, the Coal Ministry responded to the CBI for the first time after the agency's multiple requests for coal files since May.
The Supreme Court has repeatedly admonished the government for trying to influence the coal investigation.
In May, the CBI conceded that officials from the Law Ministry and Prime Minister's Office had altered a confidential report on its investigations before it was shared with Supreme Court judges.