CBI's coal dilemma: Is PM 'Competent Authority' or the Minister-in-Charge?
- At meet with Chinese counterpart, Sushma Swaraj raises Masood Azhar issue
- How a railway project put truck driver’s son on plane to Japan
- Kingfisher Airlines challenges ED's charges against Mallya in Mumbai court
- BJP's Vijay Goel fined for violating odd-even scheme, he says 'successful protest'
- Inflation in negative zone for 17th month, at -0.85% in March
The stewardship of the Coal Ministry continues to haunt Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the CBI.
Sources told The Indian Express that CBI officials, working on the FIR against Kumar Mangalam Birla and ex-Coal Secretary P C Parakh had initially made references to the Prime Minister because he was Coal Minister when Hindalco got the Talabira II coal block.
In the final draft, approved by agency Director Ranjit Sinha, however, these references appeared as "competent authority'' and "unknown public servants.''
This isn't the first time that there has been an internal debate within the CBI on making a reference to the Prime Minister in the coal case.
As first reported by The Indian Express on September 4, the key CBI investigator had put on record what he called the "requirement'' to examine the Prime Minister among a lengthy list of "pending actions'' in the case. When that file reached Sinha, he is said to have clearly noted that "at this stage," the PM's examination wasn't required.
That the Prime Minister had approved of the allocation is a fact being repeatedly underlined by Parakh in several interviews after the FIR in which his refrain is that if he (Parakh) has been named as a ``conspirator'' by the CBI, so should the Prime Minister.
CBI officials clarified that the filing of the FIR was an "independent" decision and that no legal advice from any Government law officer was sought in the case. Interestingly, the CBI is expected to file a clutch of other FIRs in the coal block allocation case before October 29, the next hearing in the apex court.
Speaking to The Indian Express today, the CBI Director said that while he did not want to get into the details of proposals and drafts, the agency's case against Parakh and Birla was on a ``sound footing.''
- India has not matched Ambedkar’s poignant urgency for swift action against social apartheid
- Fate of millions of Syrian refugees depends on whether ceasefire can lead to a peace process
- India’s first rankings of higher education institutions need improvement
- Are we at the brink of a technological revolution in the field of medical research and practice?
- People of the Kashmir valley are struggling to decide their identity
- Ambedkar would be deeply ashamed of the way India has turned out