Coal scam: Attorney General Vahanvati in dock?

New Delhi, April 30 (IANS) With turbulence refusing to subside for the crisis-ridden government, the Additional Solicitor General, Harin Rawal, Monday blamed the Attorney General G.E.Vahanvati of influencing the CBI probe into coal scam.

He said that besides coal scam, the shadows of Attorney General Vahanvati could be deciphered in other scam related investigations by the probing agency.

A night before the apex court bench, headed by Justice R. M. Lodha, was to take up for hearing the allegations of governmental interference into the investigation, Rawal is believed to have written a letter to Vahanvati levelling serious allegation against the first law officer of the country.

Rawal, who is likely to step out as government’s law officer, had told the apex court in its last hearing that the March 8 status report of the CBI investigation into the coal scam had not been seen by the political executive.

The March 8 status report of the investigating agency was submitted to the court in a sealed cover.

In an obvious attempt to put the record straight, Rawal is believed to have said that he was being made a “scapegoat”.

Rawal’s statement that the status report submitted to the apex court had not been shown to the political executive was contradicted by April 26 affidavit by the CBI Director, Ranjit Sinha.

Sinha said the status report was vetted by the Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and the two joint secretary level officers in the prime minister office and the coal ministry respectively.

This draft report was shared with them at their instance, he said in the affidavit.

Rawal is learned to have told the attorney general that it was at his instance that he went to attend the meeting convened by the law minister wherein the CBI director and other senior officer of the investigating agency were present.

He has said that he received these instruction through an SMS message.

Rawal’s letter to attorney general is apparently rooted in investigating agency’s decision to replace the senior counsel U.U. Lalit who also happens to be the special public prosecutor before 2G Special Court of Additional Session Judge O.P Saini, holding the trial in 2G spectrum allocation cases.

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