SC open to quizzing PM in coal scam

SC open to quizzing PM in coal scam

The Supreme Court on Thursday kept open the question of investigating the role of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other ministers who had headed the Coal Ministry for their alleged role in the coal block allocation scam.

A three-judge bench presided over by Justice R M Lodha, however, refused to deal with the issue of investigating the role of top executives at the moment saying that an inquiry by the Central Bureau of investigation (CBI) is in progress.

“Inquiry is not circumscribed by any constraint and the inquiry is to cover the entire ambit. It is an ongoing probe. They are still probing to find out the truth,” the court said.

The petitioner, Advocate M L Sharma, pointed out that so far the CBI had registered as many as 15 FIRs but none of them named either the prime minister or any of the coal ministers who were at the helm of the ministry during the period of the scam.

No FIR against ministers

“All these FIRs were against the coal block allottees. Are only allottees to be named in the FIR? Why the names of prime minister and coal ministers like Sibu Soren were not included? They have not named the coal minister in any of the 15 FIRs,” Sharma asked.

The court on its part refrained from passing any order. In fact, it asked Sharma.
“Has the CBI closed its inquiry and investigation? During the inquiry, if they find some substance, they would register a regular case,” it added.

The issue of questioning the prime minister rocked both Houses of Parliament on Wednesday after media reports stated that investigating officers’ bid to question
Singh was scuttled by the CBI director.

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