All efforts to be made to trace missing coal block files: Govt

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The government has been under opposition's attack over missing files relating to coal block allocation. The government has been under opposition's attack over missing files relating to coal block allocation.
SummaryThe opposition forced three adjournments of the House over the issue.

Under attack over missing files relating to coal block allocation, government on Tuesday said in the Rajya Sabha that the issue was being looked into and no stone would be left unturned in tracing the missing documents sought by CBI.

The opposition forced three adjournments before lunch over the issue, asking Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal to recuse himself from replying and demanding that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should make a statement.

They said "propriety" demands Jaiswal should abstain as the missing files reportedly relate to a beneficiary of coal block allocation who is linked to the Minister.

Jaiswal sought to mollify the opposition as he said he was ready to face any punishment if found guilty of the allegations.

At the same time, he asked Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley as to what punishment he would undergo if the case was otherwise.

"All efforts are being made to locate documents which are not readily available...My Ministry would leave no stone unturned in tracing and providing the documents sought by the CBI," he said, adding a total of 769 files and documents running into 1.5 lakh pages have been handed over to the investigating agency.

Raising the issue earlier, Jaitley said there are media reports that one of the beneficiaries of the coal block allocation was some body with whom the Coal Minister was related.

"If files relating to that allocation are missing, should he be making a statement on those files. I want to know from the Chair that on account of this conflict of interest, should he make the statement...If not direct, it is a case of indirect involvement," said Jaitley.

"Propriety demands that the Minister should voluntarily not speak...it should be the Prime Minister who should speak," said Najma Heptulla (BJP), asking the Chair to give a ruling in this regard.

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