Additional Solicitor General and CBI counsel in the coal scam case Harin Raval wrote a letter to Attorney General Ghoolam E Vahanvati accusing him of interfering in the CBI's case. Raval in his letter has alleged that he has been made a scapegoat in the case. Following is the full text of the letter written by Raval to Vahanvati:
Learned Attorney General Sir,
Sir, as a leader of the Bar and our team of Law Officers, I had expected guidance from you Sir, in discharge of my professional duties, notwithstanding the fact that we deal matters entrusted to us independently. Having reflected upon what is being debated in public domain for a past couple of days and more particularly since the morning of last Friday, with a very heavy heart, I am constrained to address this letter to you to make the record straight and take the liberty of reminding you of the facts which are within your knowledge and of which corroboration exists.
The trigger point of this letter is the remark made by you to me, on Friday 26th April, 2013 inside the Gentlemen's Cloak room of the 2nd floor, when you asked me "Harin, Why are you so angry with me" and I politely replied to you. You further remarked that "you did not contradict me in Court". Sir, you are aware that on the contrary, the truth is otherwise. It was I, who did not contradict you in Court.
You will kindly recall the sequence of facts during hearing that took place on 12th March, 2013 in respect of Item 11 in Court 5. I had entered the Court room a little late as I was on my legs before some other Court. During the hearing when you were on your legs, certain queries were put to you on basis of the facts stated in the Status Report filed by the CBI in a sealed cover. You will also kindly recall that you had remained present even for mentioning on 8th March, 2013, when permission was sought for filing status report in a sealed cover instead of filing of an affidavit as per my statement recorded in the order dated 24.01.2013.
During the course of hearing when you were called upon to respond to certain paragraphs of the Status Report as regards the decision of the Government and the Screening Committee in the matter of allocations of coal blocks, you had not only exhibited ignorance of the facts stated in the Status Report which you had earlier perused, but had made a statement that what is stated in the Status Report was not to your knowledge and same was not shared with the Government. In fact, during the course of hearing, I was also called upon to show you those relevant paragraphs from the copy of the Status Report that was made available to me during the course of hearing by the CBI officials instructing me in the matter. The same was shown to you in Court.
The order dated 12.03.2013 records a prayer made by you Sir, for grant of some time to enable the Central Government to file an additional affidavit on the aspects which were earlier not dealt with in the counter affidavit already filed.
I am to further request you to recall your memory that I was asked to attend a meeting in your presence with the Hon'ble Law Minister to consider whether the CBI should disclose the status of investigation on an affidavit in compliance of the order dated 24.01.2013 or should a Status Report be filed. This meeting was attended by you Sir, besides Director CBI and Joint Director O P Galhotra amongst others. You will also recall that I had reiterated my position namely that the statement made and recorded in the order dated 24.01.2013 to make known to the Court the status of the investigation through an affidavit of a competent officer was made not only after due consideration and discussion held with me by the CBI officials only on 23.01.2013 prior to the hearing, but also on instructions received by me from them as well as the instructions reiterated to me in Court. Having reiterated my stand, I was a silent spectator when a decision was taken to file a Status Report instead of an Affidavit, which was to be shown to you as was decided in the meeting.
You will also kindly recall that on 6th March, 2013, while I was in Court, I received a message from your end, asking me to see the Law Minister at 12.30 with the Status Report. The message received by me was forwarded to the Joint Director, CBI by me. You were already present there when I reached slightly late. You would also kindly recall that at the said meeting, during the course of discussions, the draft of only one of Status Report of one of the preliminary inquiries was shown to the Hon'ble Law Minister and was perused by him as well as by you. Certain suggestions were made, including by you, to the CBI, some of which were accepted. No suggestions emanated from me. You will kindly further recall that as you wanted to leave, to attend Court for a mentioning matter, other status report of the investigations of the 9 regular cases were requested to be shown to you in the evening at about 4.30 p.m. I was also asked to be present at your residential office. After you left, I left shortly thereafter as I also had to attend hearing of amentioing matter at 2 P.M. In compliance of the above, the CBI officials brought the drafts which were perused and settled by you Sir. I was present in your residential office.
You had also asked me to mention the matter on 7th March, 2013 which was not possible for me on account of personal reasons. The matter was mentioned on 8th March, 2013 by me to seek permission to file Status Report in sealed covers. You had remained present during the mentioning. As a matter of fact, if my memory does not fail me, it was submitted by you that, the Status Report contains much more details than what could be made known to the Court by an Affidavit to be filed in compliance of the order dated 24.01.2013.
Despite the above facts while replying to the queries on 12.03.2013, as regards what was contained in the Status Report, you had deemed it appropriate to take a stand that the contents of the Status Report were not known to you, which fact you knew to be incorrect. On account of your statement, I felt embarrassed and was forced to take a stand, in Court, consistent with your submission made as Attorney General for India, that the contents of the Status Report were not known to you and that they were not shared with the Government.
It has constantly pained and anguished me that I have had to face unnecessary indignation on account of your intolerant temperament towards the conscientious discharge of duties especially in high profile cases. I have held you in great esteem as leader of our team but your flip flop attitude towards me has always put me under unnecessary pressure.
I have retained a copy of this letter in my office for my records. I have also deemed it appropriate to simultaneously send a copy of this letter to Hon'ble Law Minister.
I have a feeling that I am sought to be made scapegoat but I am confident that truth will always prevail.
(Harin P Raval)