The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Left parties Thursday demanded resignation of law minister Ashwani Kumar for vetting a CBI status report on investigations into coal blocks allocation.
The demand for resignation grew louder after the Central Bureau of Investigation told the Supreme Court that it shared its March 8 status report on investigations into coal blocks allocation with the law minister.
"It is a very serious issue. The CBI should now tell us and the country what the original affidavit was and what changes were made by the law ministry or PMO," demanded BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Prasad alleged that the government's interference in the federal investigation agency's work was well known.
"The law minister misused his office to influence the CBI investigation to save the prime minister. BJP has already demanded resignation of the prime minister and the law minister, and we will continue to do so," he said.
Calling the interference by the law minister as "illegal", Communist Party of India leader Gurudas Dasgupta said: "It is very atrocious and unprecedented. It is astonishing that the law minister, who is the custodian of the law, has himself done such an illegal work."
"I demand that he (Ashwani Kumar) be immediately removed as the law minister and the apex court should take a serious note of it," Dasgupta added.
The affidavit submitted before the Supreme Court by the CBI revealed that "besides the political executive, it was also shared with one joint secretary-level officer each of the Prime Minister's Office, and ministry of coal, as desired by them".
However, CBI director Ranjit Sinha also told the court that the agency's status report of April 26 has been personally vetted by him, and not shared with anyone, including the political executive.