Coal scam: Plea to fix criminal liability on Manmohan Singh

Coal scam: Plea to fix criminal liability on Manmohan Singh

 An advocate-petitioner has filed a fresh plea in the Supreme Court seeking direction to fix criminal liability on former prime minister Manmohan Singh and other coal ministers in the coal block allocations scam.

Lawyer M L Sharma, one of the public interest litigation (PIL) petitioners on whose plea 214 coal block allocations were scrapped, also urged the court to issue directions for recovering the market price of the coal extracted by companies under the “illegal allotment” as mandated under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act.

He also sought orders for blacklisting all the companies /individuals and their sister concerns, subsidiary or companies belonging to them directly or indirectly and prohibit them from participating in further bidding, auction, allotment process in future in coal and other minerals.

Acting on a bunch of PILs, the apex court on September 24 quashed 214 out of 218 coal block allocations made under different dispensations by 36 screening committees since 1993. The court  in August held that the allocations were done in an ad hoc and casual manner without proper application of mind.

Sharma filed the plea for imposing criminal liabilities upon Manmohan Singh, ministers Sriprakash Jaiswal, Shibu Soren and others who held the Coal Ministry portfolio since 1993, officers and companies, besides the criminal actions being faced by some over their fraudulent action as part of the CBI investigation.

“The court has imposed additional penalty at the rate of Rs 295 MT (as determined by the CAG) upon the mines. However, actual market price of coal is around Rs 3,000 for 6000 MT.

Within the order, it is clear that imposed penalty is additional penalty therefore also actual market price in addition of the additional penalty must be recovered from the miners otherwise it is a gift/bonanza to the miners and object of Supreme Court judgment and justice will be defeated at all,” the application said.

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