The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to assist in the probe into the coal block allocation scam. It directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to share the status report on the probe with the anti-corruption watchdog within the next five days.
This followed CBI telling the court in about 20 cases related to the coal block scam, there were differences between the agency’s investigating officers and senior officials on whether to file chargesheets or closure reports. The court then asked Ravi Kant, deputy inspector general of the CBI, to provide the court a compilation of such cases in a sealed envelope. This will also be examined by the Chief Vigilance Commissioner, as well as other senior commissioners. These officials will send their observations and suggestions to the court in a sealed envelope, in four weeks.
After the CBI presented a status report on its probe into the coal block allocation scam, the court gave the agency two weeks to complete its investigation in two of the cases. It also sought the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate give it another status report on the probe on May 7.
Meanwhile, the income tax department sought sanction to inspect documents pertaining to the investigations, to which the CBI didn’t object. However, the court adjourned the hearing on the matter.
Prashant Bhushan, counsel for Common Cause, the non-profit organisation that had filed Public Interest Suit on the scam, said in several cases, the findings of investigating officers were overruled by their seniors.
On Thursday, the CBI had filed a chargesheet against AMR Iron and Steel and its director and member of the Rajya Sabha, Vijay Darda (also chairman of the Lokmat Group); his son, Devender Darda, director Manoj Jayaswal and unknown officials of the 35th screening committee on coal block allocations. The agency also registered two cases against Prakash Industries and its owner, Ved Prakash Agarwal, and Central Collieries promoter G D Daga, besides carrying out raids across Delhi, Nagpur and Mumbai.
So far, the CBI has registered 18 First Investigation Reports related to the scam.