Govt not cooperating on coal block scam, CBI to tell SC | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Govt not cooperating on coal block scam, CBI to tell SC

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will convey its dissatisfaction over the fact that 225-odd key files and documents are still awaited from the coal ministry, hampering the investigations. Varghese K George and Abhishek Sharan report. CBI’s demands and Centre’s response

delhi Updated: Aug 27, 2013 03:41 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will convey its dissatisfaction over the fact that 225-odd key files and documents are still awaited from the coal ministry, hampering the investigations.

The agency's status report to the court on Tuesday will give details of the traceless files and documents, including those connected to around 11 of the First Information Reports filed by it pertaining to alleged irregularities during 2006-9 and around 157 applications of private firms that had applied unsuccessfully for coal blocks during 1993-2004.

The CBI has, since April 10, sent several reminders about the traceless files to the coal ministry, including two that were sent by its director Ranjit Sinha in May and on August 14.

On Thursday, the ministry had finally responded to the agency, saying it has handed over substantial number of files already and is searching for more.

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It, however, didn't admit that the pending files were missing. "We are not satisfied with the coal ministry's response," an official told Hindustan Times.

The CBI will reiterate most of its demand for more power - except a three-year term for its director - when the SC takes up the matter on 29th. In an earlier affidavit the agency had demanded several measures, but the government's rejected most of it.

"Some of these measures can be implemented through executive orders or through court directives even as the legislative route progresses," said a CBI source.

The agency will persist with its plea that its director be given the powers of a department secretary. The CBI will counter the government view that it will lead to "unbridled powers."

"Does a department secretary have unbridled powers?" wondered an official. The agency will also seek powers to induct officers.

The agency will also reiterate its demand for amending the current system that requires the sanction of department secretaries to launch an investigation against an officer above the rank of a joint secretary.

The CBI wants a committee headed by the central vigilance commissioner with the cabinet secretary, the department secretary and the CBI director to decide on launching such investigations.