The tardy CBI probe into the coal block allocations scam on Thursday came under the sharp criticism of the Supreme Court which said the agency was still in the “first gear” and needed to pick up speed.
The apex court directed CBI to conclude the probe against all companies,which were allocated coal blocks,by December this year and ordered it to file the status report by October 22.
“You (CBI) have to pick up some speed. The pace of inquiry is not good. You are still driving in the first gear. Your’s is a huge task and all these need to reach the logical conclusion,” a bench headed by Justice R M Lodha said.
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It questioned CBI on the way the probe is conducted in the case as the status report did not show inquiry against all companies.
“During 2006-2009,85 coal blocks were alloted involving 169 companies. In your status report,only 37 companies have been covered so far. How do you intend to pursue investigation about rest 132 companies. There is no reference of 132 companies in the status report. You have to tell us when you will be able to prepare the final report,” the bench said.
All three senior officers— IGP Ravi Kant,DSP Amit Kumar and DSP B Murugesan—were present in the court room to brief the bench on the progress of their investigation and they assured the probe would be completed by December provided that requisite information is provided.
The apex court further slammed the UPA government over the missing files related to the coal blocks allocation. It questioned the government on why no FIR was lodged about the missing documents related to the case.
The court also rejected the submission of the Centre that there was some controversy about the documents,saying “it’s too mild a statement”.
Slamming the government further,the apex court said,”You can’t sit over documents which must be provided to CBI.”