The government on Friday said in the Rajya Sabha that seven files, 173 applications and nine other documents pertaining to coal block allocations were not traceable and efforts were on to locate them.
Making a statement in the Rajya Sabha against the backdrop of persistent attack by the Opposition, coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said out of 43 files which were said to be missing, 21 have already been handed over to the CBI and 15 are being sent to the agency.
The coal ministry has so far given nearly 769 files and documents in original, running into 1,50,000 pages in aggregate to the CBI, he said amid the din caused by TDP MPs protesting against the creation of Telangana.
Jaiswal argued that “it would be wrong to classify any file or document as missing at this stage when an inter-ministerial committee is actively engaged in locating these papers”. Besides, he said, only a handful of files are yet to be located and “if we are unable to locate some papers, the government will ensure that due investigations are carried out and the guilty brought to book.”
He said as the investigation progresses “if additional documents are called for by the CBI and, if any document is not readily available, it shall make every effort to trace and supply them to CBI”.
He also said that out of 19 applications sought by the CBI, three applications have already been made available and “the remaining 16 applications along with 157 applications... are being searched”.
About the missing documents, the minister said six have been handed over to CBI, two are available for handing over while nine others are being searched. The clarifications sought in nine cases would be made available to the CBI shortly, he said.
The House was to take up a debate on the issue after Jaiswal's statement, but could not as it was adjourned for the day because of the ruckus created by TDP members.
PM Manmohan Singh, who was expected to intervene in the debate, was present in the House.
On Thursday, the government had bowed to opposition demand for ending the