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Coal Ministry faces SC flak for not cooperating with CBI

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - 21:31

New Delhi: The Ministry of Coal today faced the ire of the Supreme Court for its non-cooperation with CBI in the coalgate scam probe by depriving the agency of crucial documents.

The apex court was pained as the Ministry, whose senior official was named as one of the persons with whom CBI shared its draft status report, was running away from providing information to the agency.

"It is very serious that certain information sought by CBI from the Ministry is not furnished," a bench headed by Justice R M Lodha said while pointing out that "on the one hand your Joint Secretary wants to see status report but on the other hand he is not ready to furnish documents requisitioned by CBI."

The bench, also comprising justices Madan B Lokur and Kurien Joseph, said there were certain issues which actually need to be clarified.
"Totally incomplete information was given by the ministry and not what CBI requisitioned," the bench said adding the list of officers entrusted with the application and their reports on allocation requested by CBI from the Ministry were not furnished.
"This is something you have to ensure," the bench told Attorney General G E Vahanvati. "It is very serious that certain information sought by CBI from the ministry is not furnished," the bench said.

CBI had pointed out in its report that the Coal Ministry was not giving information required in conducting its probe.

During the hearing today, the bench said the probe into the case is a "voluminous exercise and requires scrutiny of large (number of) documents."

Asked by the bench on this issue, Vahanvati said the Coal Secretary has recently joined and he has no intention to keep anything away from CBI.

The bench, however, clarified that in such matters, everything is being done officially through documents.

"These are matters in which nothing is done orally and everything is done officially through documents. Therefore, putting back information will not help," it said.


First Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - 21:23

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