Coal scam: Court refuses to summon Manmohan

CBI also opposed Koda's plea for calling former PM

Coal scam: Court refuses to summon Manmohan

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Friday got a huge relief after a special court refused to summon him as an accused in a coal block allocation case, saying the plea was “devoid of any merits” as there was no sufficient evidence to support it.

The court's decision came in a petition filed by former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda, who wanted Singh to be made an additional accused in the case pertaining to “irregularities” in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to Jindal Group firms– Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd (GSIPL).

Noting that the averments made in the application were “self contradictory in nature”, the court said seeking summoning of Singh should be seen from a completely different yardstick.

“Though one may argue that summoning of Dr Mammohan Singh as Minister of Coal should be considered but, as already mentioned by me, at this stage of the matter, I do not find sufficient evidence warranting his summoning as an accused in the present case. Accordingly, the present application being devoid of any merits is hereby dismissed,” Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar said in a 23-page order.

The court, however, noted that if sufficient evidence warranting summoning of any other public servant or private person emerges, “then the law will certainly take its own course”.

The court said it was not entering into a detailed analysis of the case as it might prejudice other accused summoned earlier. “Any discussion of the facts and circumstances of the present case is bound to have some effect on the role played by the other accused persons,” it said.

The court had, on September 28, reserved the order on Koda’s plea after the CBI opposed it saying that there was no evidence.

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