CBI receives fresh set of documents from Coal Ministry

CBI on Monday received a fresh tranche of files and documents from the Coal Ministry and began examining them as part of its probe in coal block allocation scam.

New Delhi: CBI on Monday received a fresh tranche of files and documents from the Coal Ministry and began examining them as part of its probe in coal block allocation scam.

CBI sources said the fresh set of documents came late in the evening and the scrutiny has started.

They said only after analysing the documents, they would be able to ascertain the number of files which have still not been provided.
Nearly 150 files and documents were to be received by CBI from the Coal Ministry.

Earlier in the day, a Coal Ministry official said a report, along with the documents and files, was despatched to CBI.

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal did not make any comment on whether the files have been dispatched but said "the instructions of the Supreme Court are being followed."

Asked about details of the report the ministry has sent to CBI, the official declined to disclose the contents citing confidentiality.

While hearing the case on August 29, the Supreme Court had directed CBI to give a list of documents, files and information sought by it within five days to the Coal Ministry which, in turn, was to furnish them within two weeks.

Asked when the ministry will file a complaint with regard to the missing files, the official said "we will take action in accordance with the directions of the Supreme Court and as per the law and within the timeline which has been prescribed for us."

The agency in its letter dated September 2 to Attorney General GE Vahanvati had given an exhaustive list of over 50 allocations, the files of which have not been received by it.

The apex court had directed the Coal Ministry that if any document remains untraceable, then FIRs have to be lodged by the Coal Ministry with CBI within a week thereafter.

Holding that the missing documents are "vital" for the probe into the scam, the apex court had directed the Coal Ministry to lodge complaint with CBI if it fails to trace any document sought by the agency.

"You (Centre) cannot do like this. Your explanation that files are being searched is not reasonable. This will not help," a three-judge bench headed by Justice RM Lodha had said.

"Four months have passed. Have you filed an FIR for missing files? Is it an attempt to destroy the records? Truth must come out," the bench, also comprising justices Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, had said while taking note that the missing documents pertain to financial aspects of the coal blocks allocations.

CBI is looking for some crucial records related to ongoing 13 cases filed by it in connection with the coal blocks allocation scam which include the letter of Congress MP Vijay Darda recommending coal block for AMR Iron and Steel, one of the accused companies.

In the list given to the Coal Ministry, CBI has also given a list of files which include allotments made to Tata Sponge Iron private Limited, minutes of 26th screening committee, allotment to Jharkhand Ispat private limited, agenda form sent by the company to Under Secretary SK Kakkar.

The files relating to Pushp Steel, Bhushan Power and Steel, SPS Sponge Iron Limited, scrutiny report regarding financial strength of companies prepared by Coal India which was mentioned in the 35th screening committee meeting, confirmation regarding prohibition with regard to transfer of equity of shares by companies pursuant to allocation of coal blocks.