Flaying the CBI for slow progress in investigating the coal block allocation scam, the Supreme Court on Monday asked it to file a report giving status of the ongoing probe in the pending cases. A bench headed by justice Madan B Lokur said that despite its “request” from time-to-time to expedite the probe, the investigative agency is yet to complete investigations in the coal scam cases. “We have been requesting the CBI from time-to-time to expedite the ongoing investigations, but it does not seem to come to an end,” it said while posting the matter for hearing on October 9. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for NGO Common Cause, told the bench that the CBI has not expedited investigation in several coal cases despite direction from the apex court in January this year. He also requested the bench to take the plea filed by an NGO raising the issue of alleged diversion of coal from the block allotted to Reliance ADAG’s Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project in Madhya Pradesh. The bench said it would hear the matter on the next date of hearing.
The apex court had on January 23 constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the allegations of “abuse of authority” prima facie committed by former CBI director Ranjit Sinha to scuttle investigation and enquiries in coal block allocation cases. It had observed that a prima facie case has “definitely” been made out for probe into the abuse of authority by Sinha. The SC had also asked the CBI to file chargesheets in all the cases in which it had completed investigation by February-end.