Coalscam probe, ASG claims he was being made a 'scapegoat'

Coalscam probe, ASG claims he was being made a 'scapegoat'

Coalscam probe, ASG claims he was being made a 'scapegoat'

As a controversy raged over whether the government tried to influence CBI's probe into the coal scam, Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval is believed to have claimed that he has been made a "scapegoat" in the matter.

Sources said tonight that Raval made the claim in a letter to Attorney General G E Vahanvati in which he is reported to have accused the latter of trying to interfere in CBI's probe report.

The accusation by Raval came ahead of a crucial Supreme Court hearing tomorrow when it takes on record CBI Director Ranjit Sinha's affidavit and the agency's status report on the coal blocks allocation probe that was shared with Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and Joint Secretary-level officials of the Prime Minister's Office(PMO) and Coal ministry.

Raval, whose submission to the apex court while appearing for CBI was contradicted by Sinha's affidavit, claimed that Vahanvati was involved in the stand to be taken by the CBI and that he was being made a "scapegoat".

Raval had submitted that the status report on the agency's probe into irregularities in coal allocation handed over to judges in a sealed cover, has not been shared with anyone in the government.

CBI is since using the services of private lawyer U Lalit after Raval made the submission.
In an embarrassing admission, the CBI Director had last week filed an affidavit in the apex court saying that its draft status report on coal allocation scam was shared with the Law Minister and Joint-Secretary level officials of the PMO and Coal ministry.

The two-page affidavit was filed after the Supreme Court asked the CBI chief to state in writing that the documents had not been seen by anybody from the "political executive."
BJP's national spokesman Ravishankar Prasad said he was "saddened" over the turn of the events involving the government's top law officers.

He accused the government of colluding in the wilful misrepresentation of facts before the apex court.

CPI leader D Raja said the coalscam probe is getting murkier by the day. "There is no accountability, no transparency," he added.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tonight met Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran and Law Minister Ashwani Kumar at his residence to discuss Raval's letter to Vahanvati.

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