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CBI affidavit singes Law Minister, PMO

CBI affidavit singes Law Minister, PMO
Contrary to the claims of the union law minister Ashwani Kumar, the CBI director Ranjit Sinha on Monday said in his detailed affidavit before the Supreme Court that Kumar had made certain changes in the draft of the status report filed before the apex court.
    
The affidavit also mentions that Attorney General GE Vahanvati made few observations and suggested minor changes, which is converse to Vahanvati’s account that he did not see the status report. The CBI director has given the details of meetings with the law minister, Attorney General GE Vahanvati, ASG Haren Raval, joint secretaries in PMO and coal ministry Shatrughan Singh and AK Bhalla, during which revisions were made in the draft reports.

Sinha was directed by the apex court to clarify certain queries on the issue of status reports being shared with the political executive and others and whether modifications were made in the draft report. Sinha has said in his affidavit: ‘I humbly submit that since the above mentioned meetings were not minutised, the facts stated in the affidavit are based on best recollection of my memory and of my officers.’

The affidavit says the law minister deleted findings on non-preparation of broadsheets or charts by the screening committee and a sentence on finding on scope of inquiry on legality of allocation. It also asserts that a tentative finding on the non-existence of a system regarding allocation of specific weightage/points was deleted at the instance of the officials of PMO and the coal ministry.

It states alterations had been made only in status reports of PE 2 and PE 4, which were the only ones to have been shared. Sinha added, ‘Majority of these changes were done by my officers in order to refine the reports either on their own or in consultation with the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) and his assisting advocate, or by the Union Minister of Law and Justice. It is difficult at this stage to attribute each change to a particular person with certainty.’

On apex court query that why ASG had made a statement in the court on 12 March 2013 that the status report dated 8 March 2013 had not been shared with any one and was meant only for the court, Sinha said that ASG made that statement on his own.

Sinha has also added that sharing of the status reports and the consequent changes have neither altered the central theme of the report, nor have the names of suspect been removed. The CBI director has offered his unconditional apology for any inadvertent omission or commission on his part.
Nitish K Singh

Nitish K Singh

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