Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has been summoned by a court as an accused in a case linked to the coal allocation scam, said today that he hoped to establish his "total innocence".
Dr Singh and five others have been summoned on April 8 in connection with the allocation of a coal field in Odisha's Talabira block in 2005 to Hindalco. At the time, Dr Singh held direct charge of the Coal Ministry.
"I respect the judicial process of this country. I hope in any fair trial I will be able to establish my total innocence," the former PM told NDTV.
He said he had stated his position before the CBI. "I have also as Prime Minister issued a statement justifying what we did. I am sure that the truth will prevail," he said.
To reporters' questions, he added, "Of course I am upset, but this is part of life."
Dr Singh, who was prime minister of the country for 10 years until his Congress party lost the national polls last year to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP, is the most high-profile person to be named in the case.
Congress leaders strongly defended Dr Singh.
"I don't think anyone in India believes that Manmohan Singh can do something wrong or corrupt. He was extremely cautious and he always wanted to be on the right side of the law. We shall defend Manmohan Singh with all our might," said senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal.