Coal scam case: Manmohan Singh moves Supreme Court against summons

Wants summons quashed; Birla too files plea.

By: Express News Service Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Updated: March 26, 2015 12:30 pm
Manmohan Singh, Coal scam, Manmohan Singh Coal scam, SC Coal scam The decisions to rationalise VIP security cover were taken last month after Union Home Secretary L C Goyal.

Strongly rebutting the charge of criminal conspiracy, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who also held the coal portfolio, moved the Supreme Court on Wednesday seeking quashing of the summons issued to him as an accused in a coal block allocation case.

Singh also sought an immediate stay on the trial judge’s order to summon him on April 8 and further proceedings, contending that the impugned order was per se legally untenable and erroneous, and could not stand the scrutiny of law.

A special court had on March 11 summoned Singh as an accused in the case after observing that there was a “conscious effort on his part to somehow accommodate” the Aditya Birla Group flagship Hindalco in the 2005 allocation of the Talabira-II coal block in Orissa.

Opinion: The Hindalco contradiction

It had also summoned five other accused namely Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Aditya Birla Group; former coal secretary P C Parakh; Hindalco Group executive president B Shubhendu Amitabh and managing director D Bhattacharya.

On Wednesday, apart from Singh, Birla, Bhattacharya and Parakh also approached the court and sought quashing of the summons.

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Singh, in his petition, has argued that the summoning order was not legal and against the principles of the criminal jurisprudence. Apart from challenging the order on various technical grounds, the petition maintained that there was no instance of alleged criminality that could be attributed to any of his acts as coal minister.

Also read: Coal Scam: P Chidambaram questions govt’s silence over former PM’s questioning

It has asked for an imminent stay on further proceedings, saying the summons would have grave ramifications on his personal liberty besides causing irreparable damage to his reputation.

A team of senior advocates, headed by Kapil Sibal, has settled Singh’s petition, which is likely to be mentioned before the Chief Justice of India for an urgent hearing in a day or two. The petition said there was nothing on record to point out that Singh has done any act which may constitute an offence. The former prime minister had taken decisions as a competent authority on allocation of Talabira-II coal block to Hindalco on the representation of Orissa government, it said.

As per the petition, the trial court judge had sought to substitute his own opinion over the views of the functionaries at various levels.

Birla’s petition said that the trial court order would pose a danger to criminal jurisprudence.

Birla said the trial court was completely wrong in understanding the mechanism of allocation and it failed to appreciate that the guidelines could not impinge on the discretion of the Prime Minister’s Office in dealing with these matters.

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  1. A
    Azad Murtad
    Mar 25, 2015 at 2:40 pm
    Not surprising at all!! Media and courts are the 1st line of defense for the corrupt in India .
    1. A
      Appan Varma
      Mar 25, 2015 at 4:35 pm
      S.C should ask him to move the lower court .Why waste time on such not very important legal aspect based case as this one . A very plain direction to attend a court .
    2. S
      Mar 26, 2015 at 6:51 am
      Bestr thing about This case is ManMohan Will open his mouth.Atleast he will speak something. A dumb will show he can speak. Let it be praise oif Madam
      1. G
        gary george
        Mar 26, 2015 at 1:59 am
        He did not take any money, but he allowed others to loot the country under the supervision of Sonia hi.
        1. G
          gary george
          Mar 26, 2015 at 1:57 am
          Mr.Singh should tell everything to the people of India. He owes it the people whom he has cheated. Or he should go to jail.
          1. G
            Gary Singh
            Mar 25, 2015 at 9:44 pm
            In which world do you live Mr. Rama. Is Supreme court not a judiciary? Do you know how many times Amit Shah has gone from court to another higher court? Whether the summons are justified or not it is for the judiciary to take a call. Every citizen has a right to fair trial in accordance with the law. Your logic that he is morally wrong to approach the SC is baffling. It is the basic principle of fair trial to first establish whether there is a prima facie case for summons. What are the facts. He has additional charge of coal ministry because Shibu Soren has resigned. The allotment is the norm in 2005. He wants to change it to the acution policy. He is opposed by all the States ruled by the BJP. He relents and agree to follow the procedure. Where is the criminal intent in this. Allotment to Hindalco is cleared by the sneering committee. It is the political witch hunting. At the most we can fault the policy but there is no criminal intent that he can be accused of. It is pity that the political crooks of first water are trying to sully the fair name of a devta swaroop insan. What is Amit Shah. He used to supply daries and shamias and see his wealth now. What is Nitengari. He was also a tent supplies. He used to ride a moped and now has 5000 crore business empire. And they are people who want to cast stones on Dr. Manmohan Singh the father of our economic recovery renowned in the world over.
            1. S
              Sridhara Hiriyannaiah
              Mar 26, 2015 at 10:28 am
              Some where his shoe is pinching. Why can't he just go and tell answers, if he has nothing to hide, why he is trying to avoid going to court?" This is a great opportunity for him bto come Clean . perhaps he is scared of some higher powers in congress.
              1. P
                Mar 25, 2015 at 5:05 pm
                Why is Manmohan Singh not cooperating with the investigation? Obviously he has lot to hide. I am sure that if a free and fair trail takes place, Manmohan Singh will be spend a decade in Tihar jail, along with his political masters from hi family.
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