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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

CBI can't share Coalgate probe report with govt

Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 18, 2013
First Published: 00:55 IST(18/7/2013) | Last Updated: 02:04 IST(18/7/2013)

The CBI cannot share its probe report in the coal block allocation scandal with the government or even its lawyers.

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Citing lack of trust, the top court on Wednesday turned down the agency's request to share the report with any government authority. The investigation should be free of any extraneous influence, it said. 

"If there is any obstruction or impediment of any nature in your investigation, you are most welcome to approach the court. But the investigation should be without any extraneous influence," a special bench headed by justice RM Lodha told CBI counsel Amarendra Sharan. 

The Centre, the court said, instead of strengthening the courts was weakening them by constituting tribunals. "No sitting judges or officers would go there. So you draw them after retirement," it told attorney general GE Vahanvati.

The court was reacting to the Centre's opposition to its suggestion to exempt the CBI from seeking government sanction to investigate senior officers in a court-monitored or ordered corruption case. It wanted the procedure as an interim measure.

Surprised by the government's objection, the court said, "The problem is we have distrust in every organisation and the events speak," it said, citing a section of the Evidence Act which presumes that government acts is in good faith. "But, now the presumption is otherwise."

The SC, however, allowed the CBI to modify the probe team. It said IPS officer Ravi Kant, recalled to the CBI on its order, would head the team probing allocation of 85 blocks between 2006 and 2009.


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