Files being searched: Coal Ministry tells CBI

CBI on Thursday received a response from Coal ministry giving details of files related to coal block allocations that are being "searched" by it as sought by the agency which is probing the case.

Last Updated: Aug 22, 2013, 21:25 PM IST

New Delhi: CBI on Thursday received a response from Coal ministry giving details of files related to coal block allocations that are being "searched" by it as sought by the agency which is probing the case.

CBI sources said the ministry has not said that these files are missing instead it informed that these records are being searched.

They said they had written a letter to the ministry on August 14 giving a list of files required by it to carry out probe in the coal allocation scam and are yet to be provided by the Ministry.

The Ministry in its response today said that they are still looking for over 225 files demanded by the agency even though they have provided a substantial number of files already to CBI, the sources said.

The detailed letter of the Ministry also carries a list of files which are being searched.

"We will inform the Supreme Court by August 27 about the files which have not been made available by the Ministry so far. The Supreme Court has directed us to give a list of files which have not been provided by the Ministry," CBI Director Ranjit Sinha said.

The sources said some crucial files related to 13 allocations which are under scanner of the agency have also not been provided by the Ministry.

They said over 150 files related to the period of 1993-2004 which includes allocations made during the NDA period are also being searched by the Ministry.

The sources said the probe is getting affected as the allegations of misrepresentation of facts against the beneficiaries and favours given to them cannot be substantiated without the files related to allocations made.

These files carry crucial documents like application forms, supporting documents, minutes of the screening committee meetings, objections raised by officials and other records which are crucial for the CBI in proving the case.

The sources said the files are not only related to the beneficiaries` records but also the companies which were rejected thus giving alleged wrongful edge to the companies which were finally allocated the mines.

The CBI has registered three preliminary enquiries in connection with the scam. These are related to allocations between 2006-09, between 1993 and 2004 and those done to joint ventures. It has also registered 13 FIRs related to allocations between 2006 and 2009.

The agency has been directed by the apex court to file a fresh status report by August 29.

On August 6, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre to provide "full cooperation" to CBI in its probe in coal blocks allocation by providing it with all necessary information and files without any delay.

"As regards ongoing investigation by CBI, we have made it clear that all necessary information as required by CBI and all necessary files that may be needed for inquiry/ investigation has to be provided by all concerned" without any delay, a bench headed by Justice R M Lodha had said.

PTI