The coal ministry has claimed it has handed over a record 768 files to the Central Bureau of Investigation but this excludes some pre-2004 files as those have gone missing.
The files sent to CBI,coal ministry officials said,are in pursuance of the Supreme Court directions to the ministry to extend full cooperation to the agency.
The missing files contain some of the recommendations made to the screening committees. The committees were responsible for the final allocation of coal mines. The files were received from the ministries of steel and power to the coal ministry with their suggestions for allocations based on recommendations sent up from the state governments.
That some files prior to 2004 are non-traceable,we have communicated to steel and other ministries. We are confident of getting the required files. The CBI is getting full cooperation from us. We have nothing to hide, a government official connected with the process said.
He also said if necessary it will not be difficult to rebuild the missing files.
Last week,CBI had told the court there was no uniformity or rationale in the allocation of coal blocks and indicated that the screening committees,which vetted allocation of blocks on the recommendations of respective states,maintained no minutes of deliberations on scrutiny of applications. The investigating agency had also said that coal blocks were allocated prima facie,in an arbitrary manner.
Meanwhile,the coal ministry has prepared a set of another files for CBI to act upon. We have informed the agency about them. It is upto them to collect these files whenever they want to do, an official said.
He said the CBI has been collecting data on the allocation of blocks ever since it registered a preliminary inquiry in June 2012. The official claimed that it was because of the level of information submitted,the CBI has been able to register eleven FIRs in the case,so far. The ministry is concerned that in the current status of the case it should not be seen as delaying the build up of the case files and wants the investigating agency to recognise it.
While the CBI has claimed a delay by the coal ministry in furnishing information in the case that has now embroiled the law minister too,the ministry is unwilling to buy the argument.
It is highly unlikely that an officer can influence the CBIs findings as he is expected to provide only the inputs sought by the agencies, a source in the ministry source has argued.