New Delhi: CBI Director Ranjit Sinha on Friday submitted an affidavit to the Supreme Court admitting that the agency's status report on coal allocation scam was shared with Law Minister Ashwani Kumar. He claimed that the minister had asked for the report and senior officials of PMO and Coal Ministry had also seen it.

Sinha's two-page affidavit filed on the direction of the Apex Court contradicts the claim made by CBI counsel on the last date of hearing that the coalgate scam report was not shared with any member of the government.

"I submit that the draft (status report) of the same was shared with Law Minister as desired by him prior to its submission before the Supreme Court....it was also shared with one joint secretary level officer each of Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of Coal as desired by them," the affidavit said.

BJP demands PM's resignation

BJP demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh alleging that he was using the Law Ministry to save himself from the probe in the case. "BJP is now fully firm on its demand for resignation of the PM. The CBI affidavit proves that the Prime Minister wanted to save himself from the CBI inquiry using the Law Ministry. All the 142 coal blocks were allocated during the Prime Minister's tenure in the Coal Ministry.," BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.

Rudy said CBI was asked to share its report with the government even when the Supreme Court had directed the investigating agency not to share its report with anyone in the government.

TMC demands PM’s resignation, sacking of Law Minister

TMC on Friday demanded Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation and summoning of the CBI Director before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) probing the coal scam. "Ministers take oath under the Constitution that we will abide by law. This shows they are not abiding by law and, therefore, they should resign," Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said.

"There is a feeling that CBI has become a Congress Bureau of Investigation. It should have been more diligent in handling issues. However, it could not hold on to itself and gave in to the wishes of the government. This is dangerous for our system," he said.

Roy said that he will request the Speaker to summon Sinha before it to explain as to what made him share the content of the report with the Law Minister and the PMO. Another party MP Derek O' Brien said, “If a minister calls the CBI Director, the meeting itself is contempt of court. Where is the original report.”

NCP defends government

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Friday came to the defence of the government, saying there was nothing wrong if the CBI ‘showed’ the copy of the draft report on the coal block allocations scam to Ashwani Kumar.

"There is a difference between sharing a report and showing a report. The Law Minister is a person with knowledge of law, there is nothing wrong in showing him the report. The CBI is saying clearly that there was no change in the report," NCP leader DP Tripathi said.

(JPN/Agencies)

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