Fully concious about seriousness of case involving ex-PM: court

Fully concious about seriousness of case involving ex-PM: court

A special court today observed it was "fully conscious" about the seriousness of the Talabira II coal block allocation allegedly involving a former Prime Minister and a top industrialist but only a prima facie opinion was required to be formed at this stage to summon them as accused.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar said that at this stage the court is only required to form a prima facie opinion as to whether some offence has indeed been committed or not and if yes, then who all are the persons involved in the commission of the said offences.

"I may once again mention that I am fully conscious of the seriousness of the matter as it involves officers not only of Ministry of Coal (MOC) but also that of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) including the Prime Minister/Minister of Coal besides Chairman of a leading industrial house of the country," the judge said.

It said that when the court is only confronted with the issue as to whether any offence is prima facie found to have been committed or not, a detailed deliberation or analysis of the documents produced or that of the statement of witnesses is not required.

"Thus, in view of my aforesaid discussion, I am of the considered opinion that offence u/s 120-B IPC is prima facie made out as having been committed by the representatives of HINDALCO and the public servants involved in the impugned coal block allocation process," the court noted.

The observations were made by the court in its order summoning former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Aditya Birla group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, former Coal Secretary P C Parakh, two other individuals and HINDALCO, as an accused in a coal block allocation scam case.

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