Coalgate: Crucial day for UPA govt today

New Delhi: At a time when Parliament is stuck in a logjam and the Opposition is gunning for the Prime Minister's resignation, it is learnt that Dr Manmohan Singh met attorney general (AG) G.E. Vahanvati over the weekend to discuss the government's strategy on the coalgate scam.
The meeting took place after a major controversy erupted over Union law and justice minister Ashwani Kumar meeting CBI director Ranjit Sinha and vetting the CBI status report on coalgate scam submitted to the Supreme Court. The development infuriated the opposition parties, who launched a scathing attack on the government by demanding the resignations of the prime minister and law minister. They have placed it as one of the conditions for smooth functioning of Parliament.
Government sources said that Dr Singh met the attorney general to discuss the government’s defence in case the apex court gives an adverse observation on the CBI report. The government is trying to protect the Prime Minister by taking a stand that he was not directly involved in vetting of the CBI report, it is learnt.
The Prime Minister's meeting with the AG comes ahead of the Supreme Court hearing in the coalgate case on Tuesday. The CBI last week admitted that its report on coal investigation was seen by the law minister and a senior bureaucrat each from the Prime Minister's Office and coal ministry before the document was submitted before the apex court.
Over the last few days, the Opposition has been alleging that the CBI's admission before the court is evidence that the government is trying to influence the investigation to protect the Prime Minister, who held direct charge of the coal ministry for some of the years which fall under scrutiny. The government has already rejected the tion demand.
Yes, Vahanvati influenced CBI report: ASG
A day before a crucial Supreme Court hearing on whether the government tried to influence the CBI’s investigation into the coal scam, additional solicitor general Harin Raval has reportedly written to attorney general G.E.Vahanvati, accusing him of trying to influence the agency’s probe into this and other cases.
Raval says that he is being made a “scapegoat”.
He also provided a detailed breakdown of a meeting held last month where law minister Ashwani Kumar allegedly asked for changes to be made to the CBI report that was then presented to the SC.
He also narrates how he got an SMS from the attorney general to come to the law minister’s office with the status report.
Meanwhile, hectic consultations were on in the government involving top officials, including legal experts, on the stand to be taken during the SC hearing on Tuesday.

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