Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday appointed former law minister Ashwani Kumar as his special envoy to visit Japan in the rank of a cabinet minister.
Kumar, who had quit as law minister in May following allegations of interference in the ongoing CBI probe into the coal blocks allocation scam, received the communication from foreign secretary Sujatha Singh about his new assignment.
Earlier this month, the Congress party had nominated Kumar to the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee and the Parliamentary standing committee on defence.
The Prime Minister has nominated Kumar “to visit for up to seven days as PM’s Special Envoy for that period (in the rank and the privileges of a cabinet minister) to maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges with Japan,” stated the official letter to Kumar.
“The visit will also prepare for the upcoming visit of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan and the prime minister of Japan to India,” the foreign secretary further stated.
The officers of external affairs ministry will be in touch with Kumar to implement the Prime Minister’s instructions.
Kumar been maintaining a low profile since his resignation as a minister and has even chose to stay away from the media.
A senior Supreme Court lawyer, Kumar had gone back to his legal practice immediately after quitting as the law minister in May after an unrelenting opposition had charged him with tampering with the CBI investigation in the coal scam, which he has consistently denied.
CBI director Ranjit Sinha had filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court on May 6, confirming that the status report had been “shared” with Kumar and an officer each from the coal ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office “as desired by them.”