You should have explained everything: SC says to Vahanvati



New Delhi: Attorney General GE Vahanvati, against whom a plea seeking prosecution for perjury was moved for allegedly making false statements, should have told everything on sharing and alteration of draft status reports in the Coalgate probe, the Supreme Court noted on Wednesday.

"You may not have been wrong but at the same time you should have explained everything," a three judge bench headed by Justice RM Lodha said.

Vahanvati has been under fire after the CBI Director and former ASG Harin Raval had belied his assertions that he had not seen the CBI report.

"I have been defamed, attacked and a lot of things have been said about me. I have to point out that till September 2012, I was not in the matter. I came only in November and asked for the time to file the affidavit. I had said that I had not seen the draft status report," the AG said.

Vahanvati told the bench that he had never called for any copy of the draft status report and moreover, the meeting was convened at the request of Law Minister Ashwani Kumar.

"During the meeting also, I did not have the copy of the draft status report. I never called for any copy. I do not see the probe reports. I am not political executive.

"Even in the provident fund scam involving judges, I didn't see the CBI status report. So was the case in the Mayawati's case, I didn't see any of the status report. I don't want to see any status report," he said.

As the proceedings began, advocate M L Sharma sought the prosecution of AG and Raval for the offence of perjury for making false statements in a judicial proceedings that too before the apex court which is seized with the sensitive case.

The court, however, told advocate Prashant Bhushan, who also raised a similar plea, that this aspect would be taken up later as right now the bench was on the issue of probe in the sensitive case.

Earlier, CBI Director Ranjit Sinha, in his second affidavit, had said that Vahanvati not only "glanced" through the draft status reports but also suggested changes in them.

The CBI chief, in his 9-page affidavit, had belied the claim of the AG that he was not aware of the contents of the draft reports.

Besides naming the Law Minister, PMO and Coal Ministry officials, the CBI director had said, "Majority of these changes were done by my officers in order to refine the report either on their own or in consultation with the ASG (Raval) and his assisting advocate or by the Law Minister.

"Besides, a few changes were also done on the suggestion of the AG and officials of the PMO and the Coal Ministry. It is difficult at this stage to attribute each change to a particular person with certainty."

PTI