New Delhi: The summons to the Former Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, Industrialist, Kumar Mangalam Birla and Former Coal Secretary, P.C. Parakh and others three, were stayed on this Wednesday by the Hon’ble Apex Court.
The Former Prime Minister was summoned as an accused along with others by the Special Court for alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating etc. in a Coal Block Scam case in the month March.
The case relating to allocation of Talabira II block to Hindalco when Singh was also holding the portfolio of coal, comes as a huge embarrassment for Singh.
The Special Court’s order was delivered after the Central Bureau of Investigation- CBI had filed its final report in the concerned case after the agency had questioned Manmohan Singh about the developments which took place in the ministry of coal as well as the PMO after industrialist Birla had allegedly written two letters dated 7th May, 2005 and 17th June, 2005 to him requesting for allocation of Talabira-II coal block to Hindalco.
After appearing before Court, the Former PM’s daughter expressed faith in judiciary when the Hon’ble SC stayed the summoning order concerned case.
Apex Court’s Bench comprising of Justice V. Gopala Gowda and C. Nagappan asked the CBI and Union Government for filing of their reply within four weeks to all concerned Six appeals. Former PM was represented by Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal.
Former PM in his Petition pointed the logic behind issuance of the Summon as ‘ridiculous’. The Petition again said that the administrative decision could be good or bad, however, it was unheard of to introduce criminality into the decision by terming it post-facto as against public interest.
As per Sibal, Hon’ble Apex Court had already observed that the Screening Committee had not followed the Procedure and as such all Coal Block allocations were cancelled by it. Further, considering this aspect of the case, he said, Former PM did a right in not agreeing with the screening committee recommendations. And further, as such Singh honoured the request of Chief Minister, Odhisa to allocate the Coal Block to joint venture between private and public enterprises, considering the federal structure of the Governance.
By Faim Khalilkhan Pathan