Facing the ire of Supreme Court in its coal block allocation scam probe, CBI today assured the apex court there will be a "thorough and qualitative" investigation and follow its directions in letter and spirit.
"CBI assures Supreme Court of thorough and qualitative investigation into Coalgate. It will follow directions of Supreme Court in letter and spirit," the premier probe agency said in a statement.
The statement came hours after the CBI was rapped over sharing of the status report in the ongoing probe with Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and other officials of Coal Ministry and the Prime Minister's Office(PMO).
On the issue of DIG Ravikant Mishra who was supervising probe in the coal allocation scam before he was transferred to Intelligence Bureau, the agency said he had completed his tenure and left because of "family reasons" even though he was given extension in the bureau.
The CBI's remark came against the backdrop of the direction by the court that immediate steps be taken by Centre and CBI to repatriate Mishra.
"Mr Ravikant who was the SP in some of the coal allocation cases has completed his tenure in CBI as SP. Extension was offered and even insisted upon but he agreed for only a year as DIG and himself sought to move out of CBI due to family reasons.
He was relieved at the end of March," a CBI official said without commenting on the observations made by the Supreme Court on this aspect.
A 1998-batch IPS officer of Odisha cadre, Ravikant was heading probe in cases related to alleged irregularities in the coal mine allocation and joined Intelligence Bureau after leaving CBI.
The atmosphere at the plush agency Headquarters was full of anticipation as senior and junior officers alike were awaiting the approach of the Supreme Court on the issue of alelged political interference in the working of the agency.
CBI Director Ranjit Sinha was keeping a tab on the happenings from Patna where he has gone on "tour", agency sources said here.
The apex court also made it clear to the CBI that in the probe into the case, no access "of any nature" should be given to anyone who is not a part of the investigating team.
"Henceforth, the Director CBI shall ensure that in the inquiry/investigation of allocation of coal block, no access of any nature is provided to any person, authority including ministers, law minister or any other central minister, law officers, counsel of CBI, department of Prosecution, CBI or any person or any officer of central government or any person outside the investigating team," the bench said.
It also directed CBI that status report, to be submitted before it, should not be supplied to anyone.
The apex court also directed that if CBI Director needs inclusion of any member in the investigating team, he can file an application before it in this regard.
"Should CBI Director need inclusion of expert in the team, he can file an application to this court," it said and asked the CBI Director to file status report by July 5.