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Coal Scam: Manmohan Singh’s plea to be heard by special bench, says SC

The observation was made by a bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu when senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Singh, sought an early hearing of the appeal filed by former Prime Minister.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: October 7, 2015 5:10 pm

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The Supreme Court today made it clear that the appeal of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, challenging the trial court order summoning him as an accused in a coal scam case, would be heard by a special bench which has been hearing such cases.

The observation was made by a bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu when senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Singh, sought an early hearing of the appeal filed by former Prime Minister.

“This is the matter which is not entirely related to the coal allocation case,” Sibal said.

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“We will refer this to the coal bench and you go before that bench and convince them that this is not a coal matter,” the bench said.

The bench, also comprising justice Arun Mishra, said that this matter will be listed next week.

Minutes after the development, senior advocate Harish Salve appearing for Hindalco, mentioned the plea before the bench and sought the hearing after Diwali vacation. The plea was resisted by Sibal.

“These all are that matter. They should be heard together,” Salve said. The submissions of Salve were supported by another senior advocate K K Venugopal who appeared for former minister of state for coal Santosh Bagrodia, also an accused in another coal scam case.

The bench, which tentatively agreed with Salve’s plea and fixed the matters for hearing on November 17, later asked the lawyers to arrive at a consensus with regard to the date of hearing and then mention it together before the bench.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had ordered deletion from its list of business of September 21 the batch of appeals filed by Singh and others.

The apex court had on April one stayed the trial court order summoning former PM as accused in a coal block allocation case and the proceedings before it.

The relief was also extended to Hindalco Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, whose company was granted Talabira-II coal block in Odisha in 2005, former Coal Secretary P C Parakh, two Hindalco officials Shubhendu Amitabh and D Bhattacharya and the company itself.

While staying trial court’s order, the apex court had said that the consequential proceedings arising out of the summoning order shall also remain stayed.

The Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar had on March 11 rejected the CBI’s closure report and summoned Singh and the other five as accused.

While issuing the summons, the trial court had said that prima facie it was clear that the criminal conspiracy which was initially conceived by Birla, Hindalco and its two officials, was carried out further “by roping in Parakh, and thereafter the then Minister of Coal, Manmohan Singh”.

It had said that Singh’s approval to allocate coal block to Hindalco “prima facie facilitated windfall profits” to the private firm resulting in loss to state-owned PSU Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd (NLC).

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  1. A
    ashok
    Oct 7, 2015 at 12:57 pm
    Dr. Singh should have his day in court, clear his fair name before an upright person like Judge Bharat Parasher.
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    1. R
      ram
      Oct 7, 2015 at 2:40 pm
      Why this former prime minister, after ruling for ten years, sworn in the name of Consution, runs away from discharging his duty to appear in court? Is it not his moral duty? Let him think how much he has taken from this country. By running away, he is making a mockery of Indian Law in the eyes of the world.
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      1. Gundappa Srinivas
        Oct 7, 2015 at 3:10 pm
        6) We have the many law schools now in India many of them very very high profile, but in these law schools there is excessive drinking, partying, drugs, indiscipline, excessive flouting of wealth and power by the students, how come in these law schools there is no teaching of values, morality, etc. A lawyer who has a student spent Rs.500 to 5,000 per day on drinks, party, etc. when he becomes a lawyer or Judge will he have detachment to money or attachment to money. 7) Will sibal, salve, wife of Chidambaram, p n venugopal, etc. take up cases of public interest like protecting forests, free education to poor, free health to poor, bus shelters for common man, toilets for common man, etc?
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        1. Gundappa Srinivas
          Oct 7, 2015 at 3:12 pm
          How To Judge The Ethical and Honesty and Truth Quotient of a lawyer and Judge? In India it surprising and mystery of these lawyers, and the clients who employ the lawyers and Judges. In the law course how much is it the subject of Honesty and Ethics and Truth which is thought to the students, how much is the subject of self discipline, morality made as practical’s during the study. Often we see that the most corrupt person, who all knows is bad/done mistakes, etc. but still he fights with a battery of very high profile lawyers and somehow he will be left off the hook. Now here what happens is the Judges mindset and atude, the judges will they use only the Logic of their intellectual knowledge or go deep inside and take the counsel of the heart filled with true wisdom when they write the final judgment. What is shocking is some of the following: 1) Justice K G Balakrishnan what all allegations were there, how much proof was produced of his excessive wealth, but still he was made the Human Rights chief, what is painful is the final judgments which he has given when he was the judge of various courts, what amount of honesty and ethics and truth were there in these judgments? 2) Shocking is the case of Sreenivasan of Chennai Super kings, how high profile lawyers fought for him, knowing very well the grave mistakes which he indirectly and he is son directly did to the game of cricket, why these lawyers fought so eagerly for him? What was the reason? What about the values of honesty and ethics? 3) The case of Sibal and others fighting for teesta is of creating damage to opposite party. Through media one has seen the misuse of funds of this organization, though all know that yes she and her organization has done grave mistakes (but 100% her mistakes is less then what politicians do), still people want to project her has a saint, so that the congress and others can get some mileage of it 4) The severe injustice done to Humanity is the bail to grave offenders and denying bail to public figures who have done good work. Tkhe supreme court and all courts give bails to severe indicted politicians, corrupt industrialists, people like teesta etc. But the same courts want to destroy the Asramji Bapu, Sri Rgahveshwara Swamiji etc. without giving them a chance or their followers to give an explanation. They donot get bail, but lallu, Jayalalitha and scores of politicians gets Bail. 5) The tragedy many so called bankrupt intellectual fools are attacking Hinduism, Bhagawad Githa and others from Karnataka, the courts or others even never warns them “see you so called educated Professors should build up peace, values, unity, etc. why you talk only negative and disturb peace”, even this the courts don’t tell to this half mad intellectuals, but the law and others go all out offensive against those who protest these madness and call them Hindu fanatics and traitors. 6) We have the many law schools now in India many of them very very high profile, but in these law schools there is excessive drinking, partying, drugs, indiscipline, excessive flouting of wealth and power by the students, how come in these law schools there is no teaching of values, morality, etc. A lawyer who has a student spent Rs.500 to 5,000 per day on drinks, party, etc. when he becomes a lawyer or Judge will he have detachment to money or attachment to money. 7) Will sibal, salve, wife of Chidambaram, p n venugopal, etc. take up cases of public interest like protecting forests, free education to poor, free health to poor, bus shelters for common man, toilets for common man, etc?
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          1. I
            Indian
            Oct 7, 2015 at 3:27 pm
            Mr Singh if allowed to escape from the responsibility to PREVENT LOOT when at the helm of a Ministry will set a very wrong precedent. ......................... If Minister has no responsibility why have Ministers and pay for their expenditure??? AND how can the ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE be responsible to the PEOPLE if they are not held responsible for what is happening in their area responsibility.
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