The Supreme Court on Wednesday barred the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from sharing any information in the "coalgate" scam with the government. It also said if there was any 'obstruction' in the probe, the agency should come to the court directly.
The apex court also allowed CBI to remove tainted SP Vivek Dutt from its Coalgate probe team. "We may consider CBI's plea for expanding the probe team as the scope of investigation has widened significantly", Supreme Court said.
Last week, the CBI had asked for permission to share details of the coalgate probe, saying it was essential for seeking permission to question a government officer, or rope in other experts to bolster the probe.
The judges today said that the agency could come to the court if it wanted to consult individuals on specific issues, but should not share bulk information with the government.
In April, the CBI admitted in court that then Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and some members of the Prime Minister's Office had vetted a report it was preparing for judges on its inquiry into how coal fields were allotted to private players at under-valued rates. The agency has said that the allotments were faulty and handled without transparency.
The investigation is sensitive for the government because for some of the years under scrutiny, the Prime Minister held direct charge of the Coal Ministry. The last Parliament session was paralyzed by demands from the Opposition for his resignation.