Coal report: In submission to Supreme Court, CBI listed govt changes

FPKumar

The CBI may have made the Supreme Court's task in deciding whether the "vetting" of its status report in the coal scam by members of the executive amounted to interference or not a lot easier. This is because along with its second status report, the CBI has submitted to the Supreme Court an annexure with a detailed listing of all the changes made in two stages to its first report, first by Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and then by senior bureaucrats of the Prime Minister's Office and Coal Ministry. Click here to read CBI's affidavit filed in the Supreme Court

Officials said the CBI has made footnotes and highlights and submitted both the original status report as well as the amended one in a sealed cover to the apex court.

While the contentious first status report was submitted by the CBI to the court on March 8, these documents were submitted on April 26 along with the second status report and the two-page affidavit of Director Ranjit Sinha.

The Supreme Court bench, presided by Justice R M Lodha, is scheduled to take up the case on April 30. While the contents of Sinha's affidavit have already put the UPA government under considerable pressure, the listing of para-by-para and line-by-line changes by the CBI for the judges will certainly fly in the face of the government's defence that only "grammatical" and "typographical" changes were made in the first status report.

Officials familiar with the exercise said that while the general tenor of the CBI's submissions and its update on the investigations into the irregularities in coal block allocations remained the same, the amendments aimed to emphasise that probe was still in progress.

"If you look at the two drafts, maybe 15-20 per cent changes were effected at the behest of the minister and the bureaucrats," a law officer said.

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