Manmohan confident of proving 'total innocence'

Haunting past: Former prime minister says he accepts CBI court decision as 'part of life'

Manmohan confident of proving 'total innocence'

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday expressed confidence that he would be able to establish his “total innocence” in a controversial coal block allocation case.

Hailing Singh as their “tallest leader”, the Congress jumped to the defence of the former prime minister who was summoned by a special Central Bureau of Investigation court as an accused.

Senior leaders Ahmed Patel, Rajeev Shukla and Anand Sharma had a brief chat with Singh, who was in the Rajya Sabha.

The former prime minister then appeared before the media to assert his “total innocence”.

“I have always said I am open for legal scrutiny. I am sure the truth will prevail and I will get a chance to put forward my case with all the facts,” Singh told reporters in Parliament.
The 83-year-old former prime minister said he was upset at the court decision but accepted it as a “part of life”.

The Congress also called a special media briefing to “put on record” the facts of the case.
“Manmohan Singh’s integrity, fairness, impartiality and adherence to transparency is unimpeachable and unquestionable,” Randeep Surjewala, chairman of the AICC’s communications department, told reporters here.

When asked  whether Singh would appear before the special Central Bureau of Investigation  court on April 8, Surjewala said, “Reserving his legal rights, Singh will definitely participate in the legal proceedings.”

“I don’t think anyone in India believes that Manmonhan Singh can do something wrong or corrupt.

“He was extremely cautious and always wanted to be on the right side of the law. Now he finds himself summoned. We shall defend him with all our might,” said former law minister Kapil Sibal.

The Congress asserted that it was Singh who had initiated the process to auction coal blocks through competitive bidding in February 2012, adding that the fruits of this were being reaped by the Narendra Modi government.

Surjewala accused the BJP of politicising the ongoing judicial process.

“The BJP is raking up the issue to divert people’s attention from the black law on land acquisition,” he said.

The Congress refrained from commenting on Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav’s observation. Gopal had said that the former prime minister was a victim of judicial activism.

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