In the latest development in the pending coal scam cases, the Supreme Court on Wednesday granted four weeks to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file a status and progress report into the probe over charges of abuse of official position by former CBI chief Ranjit Sinha, who allegedly tried to scuttle the probe in this regard.
A divisional bench comprising of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justice Deepak Gupta granted time to the CBI after the agency sought four weeks to file a status report in the matter. The Supreme Court had earlier formed an SIT, which was headed by former CBI special director ML Sharma, to look into the allegations against Sinha for trying to influence the probe in coal scam cases.
Apart from the SIT, the SC bench also dealt with other matters related to the case, including the status reports filed earlier by the CBI and the ED. The court has been looking into various status reports filed by ED and CBI regarding the investigation of the coal scam cases and the stages of the trial.
The Supreme Court was previously informed that the SIT headed by Sharma had held that the former CBI chief's alleged meetings with some high-profile accused in the coal scam prima facie indicated that there was an attempt to influence and interfere in the probe.
Earlier on February 10, the Supreme Court had denied putting a stay on the investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged involvement of some then PMO officials in the coal scam case against Jindal Steel. The case was registered against JSW Ispat Steel Limited, then Nippon Denro Ispat Limited (NDIL), and some unknown public servants. The CBI had on January 5 registered another case in the coal block allocation scam, which took place during 1993 and 2005.
According to FIR, the Ministry of Coal at the time had allocated the coal block to NDIL, which was not in line with the notification issued for the coal block to be allocated to private companies. The CBI said that the Coal Ministry had issued a notification that allowed a company to have two subsidiary companies, with one running a power plant and the other for mining coal exclusively for the plant.
(With ANI inputs)