Deleted part of CBI draft report was its heart, says SC

New Delhi, May 8 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday said that “tentative” findings of the CBI investigation into the coal allocation scam was the very heart of the report and its deletion made it directionless.

In his affidavit filed April 6, CBI director Ranjit Sinha had said that the “tentative findings about the non-existence of a system regarding allocation of specific weightage/points was deleted” at the instance of the officials of the coal ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)

“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 Hon’ ble union minister of law and justice (Ashwani Kumar),” he had said in his affidavit.

Describing these findings of the CBI as “heart” of the draft report, the bench of Justice R.M. Lodha, Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph asked why the joint secretaries of the Coal Ministry and the PMO had went to the CBI office (March 6) to look at the draft report and return to the CBI office next day (March 7) to press for two deletions.

“Surely these changes must have been debated, thought and discussed before they were sought to be made”. The court wondered “whether these gentlemen carried the draft report with them” on March 6 when they had come to the office of CBI’s joint director O.P. Galhotra.

The court also did not take kindly to Kumar’ submission in his affidavit that there was nothing in the CBI (Crime) Manual to guide whether status reports of on-going investigations in a sub-judice matter are to be shared with others.

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