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HindustanTimes Fri,28 Nov 2014

CBI director plays down changes in coalgate report

Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 08, 2013
First Published: 00:01 IST(8/5/2013) | Last Updated: 01:04 IST(8/5/2013)

Having been caught hobnobbing with the political executive over the coal block allocation scam probe, CBI director Ranjit Sinha now appears to be downplaying the act.

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While admitting that the agency incorporated changes in its status report at the behest of law minister, Attorney General and two senior bureaucrats, Sinha’s affidavit filed on Monday said that no suspect or accused was let off in the process.

“…sharing of the status reports with the persons and the consequent changes have neither altered the central theme or the report, nor shifted the focus of enquiries or investigations in any manner,” stated the director’s affidavit, filed in response to the Supreme Court April 30 direction.

Alterations were made in two status reports post March 6 and 7 meetings. Three suggestions made by the law minister were incorporated in one status report and a change was made at the behest of the PMO and  coal ministry officials in the other.

Sinha defended his officers’ decision to have made the changes saying the findings were tentative, and the changes that were asked for were factually correct.

But not everyone is buying that defence. Senior Supreme Court advocate Dushyant Dave slammed CBI for first “having taken the SC for a ride” and now “admitting to have made changes that were not substantial.”

“In one breadth they admit to have shared the status reports, thereby, allowing interference...  on the other hand they claim changes were acceptable to them,” Dave said.

Even legally, Sinha himself has admitted, the agency cannot share its status reports on probes with anybody, except those legally entitled to.


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