CBI files affidavit in SC on coal allocations

New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told the Supreme Court Monday that changes were made at the instance of Law Minister Ashwani Kumar in its draft report on the allocation of coal blocks.

In a nine-page affidavit, CBI Director Ranjit Sinha also said that “there was no deletion of any evidence against any suspect” and the “central theme of the status report” was “not changed”.

Sinha said the CBI’s tentative findings that the screening committee which scrutinised applications for the allocation of coal blocks had not prepared a broadsheet or chart for its evaluation, was deleted at the instance of Ashwani Kumar from the draft report.

“The other tentative findings about non-preparation of broadsheets or charts by the screening committee to the best of our recollection was deleted by the honourable union minister of law and justice (Ashwani Kumar),” Sinha said in the affidavit, filed in pursuance to the apex court’s April 30 order.

It said the law minister also deleted a sentence about the scope of the inquiry with respect to the legality of the allocations.

It further said at the instance of the officials of the coal ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), its “tentative findings about the non-existence of a system regarding allocation of specific weightage/points was deleted…”.

The affidavit said the changes were made in the final status report pertaining to its preliminary inquiry about non-existence of approved guidelines for the allocation of coal blocks were incorporated at the instance of officials of the PMO and ministry of coal, which was factually correct.

Having pointed out the four changes that were made at the instance of Ashwani Kumar and officials of the PMO and the coal ministry, the affidavit said: “The central theme of the status report had not changed post-meetings. There was no deletion of any evidence against any suspect or accused, nor were any let off.”

Leaving former additional solicitor general Haren Raval too fend for himself, the affidavit said that he had no instructions from the investigating agency to tell the court that the draft status report was not shared with anybody except the court.

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