Rucks over the missing files of the coal mines allocation under the CBI probe derailed discussion on the much-touted Food Security Bill in both houses of parliament on Tuesday. The government had reserved the day in Lok Sabha for the discussion and approval of the food bill in Lok Sabha and was planning to send it to Rajya Sabha after a day’s vacation for final stamp.
The opposition directly targeted the prime minister Manmohan Singh for being the beneficiary of missing files relating to the period from 2006 to 2009 when he was holding the charge of the coal ministry.
Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal tried to claim in the Rajya Sabha that the missing files belong to pre-2004 period of the NDA regime and not during the period Manmohan Singh’s tenure. He even said an inter-ministerial committee headed by additional secretary (coal) probing the documents that could not be located in the ministry. “I would like to assure the House that my ministry would leave no stone unturned in tracing and providing the documents sought by the CBI,” he said.
His argument was punctured by opposition leader Arun Jaitley, who wanted him to categorically state that no files of 2006-09 period sought by the CBI were missing.
The government files do not disappear, they are made to disappear with an intent to ensure that those guilty escape the punishment, Jaitley said. He also could not reply whether any legal recourse was taken if the files vanished.
CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechuri wanted to know if any FIR registered, asserting that movement of every file in the government is recorded and hence it is impossible that it cannot be located unless willfully done away with.
In both the houses, opposition refused to take explanation from Jaiswal, insisting that the PM should better clarify how the files and records have disappeared.
BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar later told media that the missing files relate to 2006-09 and this has been disclosed to Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee by none else but the CBI chief himself.