Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval has made the grave allegations in a letter-bomb that he sent to the Attorney General last night. He writes that Mr Vahanvati incorrectly told the court that he had not seen the report, forcing Mr Raval to take the same stand. (Read his full letter here)
He writes to Mr Vahanvati about a court hearing on March 12, "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 the court consistent with your submission ...that the contents of the status report were not known to you and that they were not shared with the government.
Separately, CBI chief Ranjit Sinha told NDTV that a week before that hearing, changes were made to the coal report at a meeting called by Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, but said he could not recall what those changes were.
The court hearing today is crucial because judges will react to the CBI's confession, made last week, that a report given to them on March 8 had been screened and vetted days before that by Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and a senior bureaucrat each in the Prime Minister's Office and the Coal Ministry.
Mr Raval's letter has turned up the dial by several searing notches. Sources say Mr Raval is likely to resign soon and that his letter is meant to explain why the spectre of misconduct has lurked around him.