Manmohan Singh Will Not Be Made An Accused, Says Court in Coal Scam Case

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Manmohan Singh Will Not Be Made An Accused, Says Court in Coal Scam Case

FILE photo: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh


New Delhi:  Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will not be made an accused in a coal scam case, a Delhi court said today, while rejecting a petition to summon him as an accused.

The Special CBI court was hearing a petition filed by former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda who is also an accused in the case related to alleged irregularities in the allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand to Jindal Steel - owned by top industrialist and Congress leader Naveen Jindal - and Gagan Sponge.

On September 28, the court had reserved the order on Mr Koda's plea after the agency had opposed it, saying that there was no evidence which even prima facie suggests that Mr Singh was part of any conspiracy in allocation of a coal block to Naveen Jindal Group firms.

The central probe agency had argued in the court that the plea of Mr Koda was "devoid of any merits" and the records do not reflect that Mr Singh, who held the Coal Portfolio at that time, had any complicity with any accused.

It had also said there was no evidence to show that Mr Singh had acted in a "mechanical manner" in the entire process.

Mr Koda had alleged that Central Bureau of Investigation was trying to show there was no involvement of the then Prime Minister in the entire process.

The counsel of former Jharkhand chief minister had also said it cannot be said that Mr Singh was not aware of all the facts and if the file was said to be routed through then Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao, who is an accused, can it not be said that Mr Singh was one of the conspirators.

Madhu Koda had also sought summoning of Anand Swaroop, then Secretary (Energy) and Jai Shankar Tiwari, then Secretary (Mines and Geology) as additional accused in the case.

Regarding Mr Swaroop and Mr Tiwari, CBI had told the court that they are important prosecution witnesses in the case and "rather it was Koda who had tinkered with recommendations".

Besides Mr Koda and Mr Rao, CBI had chargesheeted industrialist Naveen Jindal, former Coal Secretary H C Gupta and 11 others, including five firms, in the case.

Out of these accused, only Mr Rao had supported the plea of Madhu Koda. The court had summoned the15 people as accused saying that prima facie offences under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 420 (cheating) of IPC read with sections 13(1)(c) and 13(1)(d) (criminal misconduct by a public servant) of the Prevention of Corruption Act were made out against them.

 


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