Coming down heavily on the government for all the lapses in allocation of 164 coal blocks, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed it to file a comprehensive affidavit justifying the allocations.

A bench headed by justice RM Lodha after going through the seal report of the CBI said, “There is complete lack of transparency in the coal blocks allocation and there was no system in place to verify the application of the companies and working of the screening committee appears to be sketchy. The CBI is struggling so hard to complete the probe in wake of absence of documents.”

“I am sorry to say that the Union of India does not have basic documents. Had it been with you (Centre), it would have helped the CBI in its investigation,” the judge said.

The direction seeking details justifying the allocation of 164 coal blocks came after Vahanvati told the court that 132 coal blocks were allocated by the screening committee and 72 under government dispensation. He told the court that allocation of 40 coal blocks had been cancelled since then.

The bench asked attorney general GE Vahanvati to respond to its two queries “Why sanction of government is necessary in respect of court-monitored or court-directed investigation.

The bench also wanted to know “why clarification should not be made that sanction for investigation of offences alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act is necessary from the government when the government’s stand is that the power of supervision for investigation has already been shifted from government to CVC pursuant to direction issued by this court in Vineet Narain case.

Meanwhile, reacting to government’s proposal to give autonomy to the CBI, the top court said a law will have to be amended in parliament only after debate to approve suggestions made by the Centre to free the agency from political control.

Courtesy: dna