A minister vetting a CBI status report which is to be submitted in the court does not amount to interference in an ongoing investigation, Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran said on Thursday.
The Supreme Court is examining the question of whether the perusal of the law ministry of the CBI status report on its investigation into coal blocks allocation amounted to interference by the government. Parasaran's views are likely to reflect in the governemnt's defence in the court when the case comes up for hearing on May 8.
"There is a very clear difference between the status report, which is prepared in consultation with the lawyer representing the investigating agency, and the investigation report, which contains exact and minute details of investigation," the Solicitor General said.
Parasaran, who had met the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, along with government's top law officer, Attorney General GE Vahanvati after the previous hearing in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, said the PMO wanted entire facts to be placed before the court.
"The Prime Minister told us to be absolutely honest and he was very clear that truth should emerge and no wrong doer, if any, should be spared," Parasaran said.
"The PMO has provided all files and details sought by the CBI over past six months and if any of its officer has sought a clarification from the agency, it can't be termed as interference," he said.
The law ministry also rebutted allegations of having interfered in the coal blocks allocation scam probe and pointed out that being the designated legal advisor for all departments, including the CBI, it is entitled to give its opinion, but the investigating agency is free to accept or reject it.
Law minister Ashwani Kumar, in his two-page note to the Congress Party about the controversy, is learnt to have stated that he intervened in the matter only to resolve the differences between Attorney General GE Vahanvati and his colleague, Harin Raval "on the mode and manner of filing the status report in the Supreme Court."
Kumar is also understood to have stated that CBI does not come under the control of his ministry; so the question of interference did not arise.