The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told the Supreme Court yesterday that changes were made at the instance of Law Minister Ashwani Kumar in its draft report on the allocation of coal blocks.
In a nine-page affidavit, CBI Director Ranjit Sinha also said that “there was no deletion of any evidence against any suspect” and the “central theme of the status report” was “not changed”.
The CBI, also admitted to the apex court that two changes were made to its probe report on coal allocations, once at the instance of the Law Minister and the other at the instance of the PMO and the Coal Ministry.
“The other tentative findings about non-preparation of broadsheets or charts by the screening committee to the best of our recollection was deleted by the honourable union minister of law and justice (Ashwani Kumar),” Sinha said in the affidavit.
It said the law minister also deleted a sentence about the scope of the inquiry with respect to the legality of the allocations.
It further said at the instance of the officials of the coal ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), its “tentative findings about the non-existence of a system regarding allocation of specific weightage/points was deleted...”
The affidavit said the changes were made in the final status report pertaining to its preliminary inquiry about non-existence of approved guidelines for the allocation of coal blocks were incorporated at the instance of officials of the PMO and ministry of coal, which was factually correct.
Having pointed out the four changes that were made at the instance of Ashwani Kumar and officials of the PMO and the coal ministry, the affidavit said: “The central theme of the status report had not changed post-meetings. There was no deletion of any evidence against any suspect or accused, nor were any let off.”
CAG’s estimate of the loss (amt in crores) to the exchequer after the govt’s decision to not auction 194 coal blocks between 2004 and 2011