Coal blocks allocation scam: Efforts on to trace missing files, Centre tells SC

The Centre on Tuesday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court in the coal blocks allocation scam.

Zee Media Bureau/Manisha Singh

New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court in the coal blocks allocation scam and assured the apex court that efforts were on to locate the seven missing files sought by the CBI.

The government told the court that the CBI needed 43 files, which had been handed over to them, apart from seven.

Meanwhile, the CBI, which is investigating the case also filed a fresh affidavit in the SC in the coalgate scam and sought permission from the court to share the report with its prosecutor.

The government has been under relentless fire from the Opposition including the BJP and the Left parties regarding the missing of over 200 files pertaining to the investigation of the coal blocks allocation. Parliament was stalled for days over the missing documents, with the Opposition demanding that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh must speak on the contentious matter on the floor of the house.

Speaking on the issue, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj insisted that the PM needed to explain as to how the coalgate files had gone missing and what the government was doing to recover them.

Coal Ministry portfolio was held by the Prime Minister from 2006-2009. Some of the missing files relate to the allocations of coal blocks during the tenure of PM.

Without mincing words, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley had said that files do not go missing but they are made to go missing. However, the Congress maintained that there was no need for the PM to speak.

The uproar in the Rajya Sabha forced Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal to make a statement on the matter. He informed the House that a committee has been constituted to look into the issue of missing files.

On August 14, the CBI had written to the Coal Ministry saying that 225 files and documents relating to allocation of coal blocks had still not been handed over to them by the ministry. Missing files include both pertaining to the NDA and the UPA era.

According to the investigating agency the files and documents were important for concluding the probe against various firms booked by them for alleged manipulation and concealing of facts.

The coal scam has further dented the image of the Congress-led UPA government, already battling various graft charges such as the 2G scam and the Commonwealth scam.

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