The CBI's latest FIR in the coal allotment scam against a whistleblowing former Coal Secretary and a highly regarded industrialist has raised questions about the quality of their evidence. The CBI insists it's a conspiracy, the PMO claims it was above board. This week, we sift through the facts to find a more nuanced reality: the PMO's defence of the Hindalco is full of anomalies, but in themselves that may not amount to corruption. But even if the CBI is on a weak wicket on Hindalco, it doesn't mean that in other cases, wrongful allotments didn't take place at all, and money didn't change hands. So the more germane question to ask is why has the CBI not been able to unearth the higher levels of political conspiracy underlying coal allotments?