Supreme Court calls CBI a caged Parrort under many masters

New Delhi: Supreme Court on Wednesday hauled CBI and PMO officials for changing the “heart” of the Coalgate probe report but appeared to have given a breather for the Law Minister and the Government for the time being.

Observing that CBI was like a “caged parrot”, the court said it should stand up to all “pulls and pressures” and not share its probe with anyone including the Law Minister.

The CBI action had triggered a major political controversy with Opposition, particularly BJP, demanding the sacking of Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The court directed that immediate steps be taken by Centre and CBI to repatriate DIG Ravi Kant Mishra, who was the investigating officer in coal blocks allocation case and was shifted out to Intelligence Bureau.

“It’s a sordid saga that there are many masters and one parrot,” the bench said after going through the nine-page affidavit of CBI Director Ranjit Sinha.

In his affidavit, Sinha had told the court that Law Minister Ashwani Kumar had made certain “significant changes” in the agency’s draft probe report on Coalgate, while top law officers and government officials, including those from the PMO, had suggested amendments.

Sinha had detailed at least four changes, two made by the Law Minister and two by joint secretaries of PMO and Coal Ministry Shatrughna Singh and A K Bhalla respectively.

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