Coal scam case: No coal stain on Manmohan

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New Delhi: The CBI on Monday told a special court, hearing the coal scam cases, that prima facie there was no case against former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as alleged by former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda.

Special public prosecutor RS Cheema told the court that records of the case, not even prima facie, suggest the then PM, who was also the coal minister at the time, was part of any conspiracy in allocating coal blocks to the Jindal Group.

“The present application is a device worked out by the accused person so as to, not only delay the present trial but also deviate the court from the case,” Cheema told Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar who reserved the order on Koda’s plea for October 16. “The records not even prima facie show anything to summon the then PM as accused. The evidence does not show any complicity on the part of the then PM in allocation of the coal block,” Cheema explained. Regarding two other persons, whom Koda had sought to summon as additional accused in the case, the agency said the duo were key prosecution witnesses and there was no evidence to show they conspired with anyone in the process.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to Jindal Steel and Power Ltd and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd. Madhu Koda, one of the 15 accused in the case, had moved an application seeking to summon Manmohan Singh and two others, Anand Swaroop, then Secretary (energy), and Jai Shankar Tiwari, then Secretary (mines and geology) as additional accused. He was supported by former minister of state for coal Dasari.

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