The clamour is now growing for both the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Law Minister Ashwani Kumar’s resignation after Supreme Court’s observations on the Coalgate report. The apex court came down heavily on the CBI saying the investigative agency should not be influenced by its political masters and its independent position must be restored.
The court questioned why the court was kept in the dark about sharing of information with the government officials in the coal scam. After observing the report, it said that the details in the CBI affidavit on the coal scam are ‘very disturbing’ as the sharing information with the government has shaken the entire process.
The court observed that the suppression of the information from the court by CBI is not ordinary. Now the first exercise will be to liberate CBI from political interference.
The court told the CBI to file a fresh affidavit answering the few questions by May 6. The court wants to know, why was it not disclosed that the March 8 report was shared with the government? Why CBI Counsel on March 12 said that this report was not shared?Besides the Law Minister and two Joint Secretaries, was the report shared with anybody else? Were any changes made in the CBI status report? At whose instance the changes were made? Is the Law Minister entitled to call for such a report? Does it not show erosion of the trust that the court has shown in CBI?
The CBI on Friday had filed its affidavit on the coal block allocation scam report in the Supreme Court. In the affidavit, the agency director Ranjit Sinha revealed that the draft was shared with the Law Minister, PMO and Coal Ministry officials. It suggested that the government had tried to influence the CBI probe into coal scam.