The CBI has informed the Supreme Court that it has investigated 33 coal scam cases covering allocations to 168 companies through meetings of the screening committee during the period 2006 to 2009. In its October 6 status report, the agency has told a bench headed by Justice M B Lokur that for this period, the total number of cases probed by them was 33, of which final reports have been filed in the special court in 28 cases. The agency said that final reports would be filed in two cases before the end of November this year. Special public prosecutor R S Cheema told the bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri, that “insofar as M/s Prakash Industries is concerned, the final report will be filed with regard to allotment of Vijay Central coal block, Urtan coal block as well as Chotia coal block”.
The agency also told the court that in two cases, letters rogatory were pending. “In respect of the other case, formal authentication is required from the authorities in Malaysia. As soon as that is received, the final report will be filed. One case is still under scrutiny in the sense that the investigation is complete but the material is being scrutinised,” the agency has said, adding that the final report would be filed in these cases before November end.
The apex court has asked CBI to file the next status report before December 4. The court has asked the CBI and Enforcement Directorate to expedite their probe in the coal scam cases. 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 the 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. It had later directed that no CBI officer, who is probing coal scam cases or officials from SIT probing allegations of “abuse of authority” against the former CBI director, would be transferred without its prior permission.