The investigations into the coal allocation scam took a new turn in August 2013, when the then coal minister in the UPA government, Sriprakash Jaiswal, admitted that some crucial files relating to the investigation between 1993 and 2004 had gone missing.
The acknowledgement came after the Supreme Court directed the Centre to co-operate with the CBI’s inquiry into the scam. The order came following CBI’s stand that the ministry was unable to provide around 150 files relating to coal allocation during the 1993-2004 period in which 45 coal blocks were allocated.
Jaiswal had then said that the government has set up a committee headed by an additional secretary of the ministry to inquire into the matter.
The CBI had said in July last year that it did not receive at least five crucial files related to the allotment of coal blocks during 2006-09 despite providing specific details. The agency had registered 13 cases related to block allotments during 2006-09 for alleged misrepresentation of facts by the beneficiaries.
The coal ministry in June 2013 constituted an inter-ministerial panel under the chairmanship of additional secretary (coal) with representatives from ministries/departments of power, steel, industrial policy & promotion as well as Coal India Ltd and Central Mine Planning & Development Institute Ltd to look into the issue of missing files.
Later, the coal ministry informed a Parliamentary committee that it is trying to locate the files after the Supreme Court said that the Centre was not aiding the CBI with documents in its probe.