As reported by ndtv, the Supreme Court today offered unrestrained criticism of the government over missing files in the case of ‘Coal-Gate’.
As reported by ndtv, the Supreme Court today offered unrestrained criticism of the government over missing files in the case of ‘Coal-Gate’- alleged irregularities in how mining rights were given to private firms, allegedly robbing the country of lakhs of crores. The court said if the Centre did not hand over all the files, the CBI would probe how they went missing.
The CBI, which also came under attack for a slow investigation, told the court it hoped to complete its investigation by December.
On the missing files, the judges posed the same question to the government that the opposition has in recent weeks: “Is this an attempt to destroy records?”
The government was reprimanded for describing the missing documents as a controversy. “It’s too mild a statement,” the judges said.
Among the documents missing, the judges noted, are letters from Congress MP Vijay Darda for the Bander Coal block in Maharashtra, forwarded by the Prime Minister’s Office to the Coal Ministry.
“These letters are missing,” the judges said.
The court set firm deadlines for both the investigating agency and the government. The CBI has to furnish a list of missing files and documents to the government within five days; the Centre has two weeks to give the CBI every document it requests.
“You just can’t sit over papers. There can’t be any justification in not providing them. If files are lost or stolen why haven’t you filed an FIR?” the court asked, directing the CBI to file a status report on the coal probe by October 22.
The CBI had said it had not received some 225 crucial files from the government to investigate 13 FIRs or police complaints it had filed in the case. Two Congress MPs- Mr Darda and Navin Jindal – have been accused of bagging coal blocks illegally.