Coal files still missing; PM says govt has nothing to hide

Parliament was disrupted again today over missing coal files even as the prime minister tried to buy time by saying that the government has nothing to hide and would try to make available as many of the missing files as possible.

The prime minister also reminded the House that matter of allocation of coal blocks is sub judice as the Supreme Court is looking into all aspects of it.

''The govt shall follow directions (of the SC) in letter and spirit and do its best to locate and hand over the requisite papers to the CBI,'' he said.

The prime minister was forced to make a statement on the issue of missing files relating to coal block allocation in the Parliament after the opposition raised the issue, in a bid to corner the prime minister.

He said the government is making all efforts to locate the missing files and stressed that it would still be premature to deem them as missing.

The prime minister also hit out at the opposition's propensity to draw conclusions of wrongdoing by the government.

''Disregarding the factual position some members have gone ahead and drawn their own conclusions that there is something fishy'','' the PM said.

''Let me assure this august House that the government has nothing to hide. Government is making all efforts to locate coal papers; at this stage too early to say coal files are missing,'' he added.

The prime minister also said the government's intention to facilitate the process of investigation cannot be called into question and that it has handed over most of the files sought by the CBI. He, however, was silent on the files still missing.

''More than 150,000 pages of documentation, already been handed over to the CBI, show our intention to facilitate investigation,'' he said, adding, ''If records in question are missing, the govt will carry out a thorough investigation and ensure that the guilty is booked.''

Singh will be off to Russia for the G-20 summit on Wednesday and that means the two-week time that he has sought to trace the files will go futile.