New Delhi: BJP on Monday said reports that the government had vetted the CBI report on coal mines scam show it has been interfering with the functioning of constitutional bodies and announced that unless Law Minister Ashwani Kumar clarifies his stand in Parliament, the House will not function.

"The issue is simple and straight... The Supreme Court had ordered restraining the CBI from sharing the report with anybody in the government," Deputy Leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters. He alleged that despite this, the Law Minister had vetted and even made changes in the CBI report on the coal mines allocation scam before it was submitted to the Apex Court.

"Ashwani Kumar has not denied reports that the meeting took place in his office (where the alleged vetting was done). CBI is accountable only to the Supreme Court for the  report," Prasad said. BJP further maintained that similarly the Law Minister is responsible to Parliament for his conduct. The party has also attacked the Prime Minister's Office which is facing allegations of involvement in the coal block allocations where anomalies have come to light.

The main opposition disrupted Parliament over the issue and sought to know where the Law Minister is as he was not present in the Rajya Sabha when the issue was raised. It will continue to press for its demand inside Parliament.

Demand for Law Minister’s resignation rejected

Government on Monday rejected Opposition demand for resignation of Law Minister Ashwani Kumar in the wake of allegations that he tried to influence CBI's status report on the coal block scam investigation, submitted to the Supreme Court.

"I don't think that is a relevant demand," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said, adding that CBI had made it clear that it had not been pressurised. "If CBI says they were not pressurised...there has been a statement by CBI. And somebody stands up and says they were pressurised, the person supposed to be pressurised is not saying that. So, how can you move on that," Nath told reporters outside Parliament House while replying to a query on the Opposition demand.

Soon after the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day at 2 PM on various issues including alleged coal scam and rape of a five-year-old girl in Delhi, the Minister appealed to the Opposition to cooperate with the government for smooth functioning of Parliament.

He said the government was open to discussing all issues on the floor of the House. The coal block allocation issue figured in the Rajya Sabha too where opposition parties were adamant on calling the Law Minister in the House and seeking suo motu statements from both Prime Minister Manmohan Sngh and Ashwani Kumar.

Congress has already rejected demands for the resignation of Kumar. Nath also rejected a senior opposition leader's reported remarks that Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi was talking in the language used by the Opposition to influence the functioning of the government. "No way is Mrs Gandhi interfering in the functioning of the Government," he said.


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