CBI files status report on Coalgate probe

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The CBI on Monday filed, in a sealed cover, a status report in the Supreme Court on the probe into Coalgate until July 5 and sought the modification of a May 8 order, under which it submitted the report and which asked it to keep the investigation secret.

On May 8, the court asked the CBI Director to ensure that secrecy of the inquiries and investigations into the coal blocks allocation was maintained and no access was given to any person or authority, including any Union Minister, law officers, CBI advocates, the Director of Prosecution and Union government officials/officers. The CBI Director “…shall submit [by July 8] a status report duly vetted by him on the progress made up to July 5…”

In its application for modification of the order, the CBI said: “The Central Vigilance Commission Act mandates that on completion of inquiries, the inquiry report be sent to the CVC. The CVC has in the past sought information about the investigation of the case. At that stage, investigation was at its initial stages. Thereafter, since the matter was pending in the Supreme Court, the CBI has not supplied any information to the CVC till date.”

The CBI said that in some instances, wherein inquiry/investigation “…is to commence or under way, Section 6(A) of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act has to be complied with, failing which investigation carried out by the CBI may be subjected to a challenge at a subsequent stage.”

It said, “At present, no proposal under Section 6(A) of the DSPE Act relating to sanction is pending. Initially, approval was declined. However, after sending a detailed report, sanction was granted by the government. Keeping in view the scope and nature of the investigation, since the need can arise at any stage, modification of the order is prayed for.”

The CBI said, “Keeping in view the pace of investigation, it is probable that petitions be filed by persons arraigned as accused, and the CBI will have to oppose the same effectively, which would entail [on it] disclosure of the scope and nature of the investigation.” The scope of probe “is expanding, and it may be necessary for the CBI to share information with appropriate government machinery for the purpose of consent.”

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