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CBI’s status report reiterates stand to prosecute Jindal, Rao

The status report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) on Monday before the Supreme Court in Coalgate has reiterated the agency’s stand to prosecute Congress member of parliament Naveen Jindal and former minister of state for coal DS Rao. They were booked by the CBI for criminal misconduct, conspiracy and cheating on 11 June.

Sources in the CBI said that they have given details of the case against Jindal, his firms and DS Rao in their status report. ‘We have a firm case against them and have mentioned the same in our status report,’ the sources stated. The CBI has alleged that within a year of being allocated a coal block in Jharkhand, Jindal’s company invested Rs 2.25 crore in a firm owned by Rao. Jindal is likely to be questioned by the agency in connection with the case soon.

This is the first status report filed by CBI since March after which a political storm had erupted following reports that it was shared with former law minister Ashwini Kumar prior to its submission. It had led to Kumar’s resignation.

Sources said that the CBI gave status of 13 FIRs and 3 Preliminary Enquiries (PEs) in a sealed envelope to the Supreme Court. The the CBI on Monday also asked the Supreme Court to appropriately modify its order barring it from sharing Coalgate probe report with any government agency or officers. The plea they took was that in order to take permission for prosecution report will need to be shared.

CBI sources added that the report has also given details of former CBI chief investigating officer Vivek Dutt’s case. Dutt was caught taking a bribe of Rs 15 lakh on 17 May. The CBI Internal Intelligence Unit nabbed Dutt in an operation that was personally supervised by the agency’s director Ranjit Sinha.

The details of recorded statements of two officials of the Prime Minister’s Office as part of its probe into the scam has also been mentioned in the report. The court was also requested that the agency should be allowed to carry out changes in the investigation team on the ground that more officers are required as the scope of the scam was expanding.

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