Manmohan Singh said that it would be premature to conclude that official papers sought by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the irregularities in allocation of coal blocks are indeed missing.

He told the Rajya Sabha that the vast majority of the papers had already been handed over to the CBI and that there is nothing ‘fishy’ as a section of members feared. "Let me assure this August House that the government has nothing to hide," he said, reading out a prepared statement.

The fact that more than one lakh pages had already been given to the CBI showed that the government's intention to facilitate the CBI investigation could not be called into question.

He said that the government had provided all cooperation to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the CBI. "We will continue to do so." The Prime Minister said that if some files are indeed missing, the government would carry out ‘a thorough investigation’ and the guilty would be punished.

Members should not draw hasty conclusions that there is something fishy and efforts are underway to locate all papers requisitioned by the CBI, the Prime Minister said.

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