New Delhi: The CBI Director on Monday admitted before the Supreme Court that certain changes were made in the coalgate draft report on suggestions given by Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, Attorney General GE Vanahvati and the officials of PMO and Coal Ministry.

In its nine-page affidavit, CBI Chief Ranjit Sinha gave details of the meetings which took place between the officials of the probe agency, the Law Minister, AG, then Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval and officials of PMO and Coal Ministry.

The submission made by Sinha contradicts the stand taken by the Law Minister and AG, who had refuted the allegation that they had suggested changes in the draft report.

The affidavit said the changes made in the draft report on the suggestion of the Law Minister and Vanahvati have "neither altered the report nor shifted the focus of inquiries in any manner".

No names of suspects or accused removed: Sinha

Sinha also said that "no names of suspects or accused were removed from the status report and also that no suspect or accused was let off in the process."
 
"Majority of these changes were done by my officers in order to refine the report either on their own or in consultation with the ASG (Raval) and his assisting advocate or by Law Minister. Besides, a few changes were also done on the suggestion of AG and officials of PMO and Coal Ministry," Sinha said.

"The central theme of the status report had not changed post meetings. There were no deletions of any evidence against any suspect or accused nor were any let off," the affidavit said.

CBI apologizes for any inadvertent omission or commission

Extending unconditional apology for any inadvertent omission or commission, Sinha said that there is nothing in the CBI manual to guide whether status reports in an ongoing investigation in a sub-judice matter are to be shared with others.

"The departmental circular and government instructions are also silent on this point," Sinha said, while answering a specific question posed by the Apex Court on the last hearing as to on what basis the Law Minister and officials were entitled to go through CBI status report.

He also said that there are no minutes of meetings which took place with Law Minister and officials of PMO and Coal Ministry and details of his affidavit "are based on best recollection of my memory and of my officers".

No intention to suppress fact: CBI

The affidavit also said that there was no intention to suppress from the Supreme Court the fact that the draft report was shared with political executive and government officials.

"Since it was our honest and bonafide belief that there was no specific direction on this issue by this court, it did not occur to us that the fact ought to be brought to the notice of this court.

"It is humbly submitted that there was no intention whatsoever to suppress this fact from this court," he said.

The CBI Director also made it clear that Raval had made a statement on his own that the status report was not shared with anyone.

(Agencies)

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