Coalgate: 'Some people are more pious than Pope': SC on JS

Coalgate: 'Some people are more pious than Pope': SC on JS

Coalgate: 'Some people are more pious than Pope': SC on JS

"There are some people who are more pious than the Pope," was how the Supreme Court observed when repeated submissions were made about the role of two joint secretaries in altering the draft status report of CBI in the coalgate probe.

While the submissions were being made that the two joint secretaries -- Shatrughna Singh (PMO) and A K Bhalla (Coal ministry), be directed to file an affidavit, a bench headed by justice R M Lodha said it would be considered at a later stage.

"They could have gone (to CBI) at the instance of somebody or must have gone by themselves. There are some people who are more pious than the Pope," the bench observed.

"We will consider these questions and setting up of SIT as requested by Prashant Bhushan later," the bench, also comprising justices Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph said.

The court was anguished that, "In this situation, there was no justification at all, firstly, for two officials to peruse draft status report and recommend changes therein.

"Nor was there any justification for CBI to allow these officers to peruse draft reports and carry out amendments in draft status reports as suggested by the two joint secretaries."
The bench said it was "mainly pained with the March 6 incident, when the two joint secretaries were permitted to peruse the draft reports and on their suggestion, CBI amended the draft status report that has put it (CBI) in bad light."

Pulling up the CBI for allowing them access to the report and making changes to its most crucial part at their instance, the bench also said, "The Director of CBI and for that matter, the investigating team should have stood up and denied these officers access to draft status report."

"You are a mammoth organisation and you allowed the two persons to peruse the draft status report and incorporated the suggested amendments."  "What business these two joint secretaries have that they first come to CBI office or is CBI office a place where all and sundry can come and deal with the papers?" it asked CBI.

"These two gentlemen (JS of PMO and coal ministry) visit CBI office and they were shown draft report on March 6. They go back and on March 7 come back and say changes have to be done in two paragraphs. This is something which is very serious," the bench observed.

"On March 6 evening, they shared draft status report. Next day, March 7, they suggested amendments in Para 1.2 of PE 2 and of PE 4. "Bones, blood and muscle of the probe is in PE 2. Para 1.21 of PE 2 is the heart of the report and that is amended. PE report are most important," the court said.

The court also said, "They are called for supply of documents to CBI. Now what business they have to go to CBI and look at the draft status report. What business they have on earth to go to CBI to see draft status report?

"How can CBI permit them to peruse (the report)? Whether they took away draft report with them or not. Next day, these people come and suggest changes in para 1.21 and ask to delete. PE 2 is the most crucial.

The court also also pointed that the role, act, and ommision and commision of the two joint secretaries, as representatives of the government, is also under scanner.
"People from two ministries --Joint Secretarries PMO and Coal ministry are interfering. They are not integral part of the investigating team," it said.

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