BJP today backed the special court order directing the CBI to record statement of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a coal blocks allocation scam case while Congress reacted cautiously. “We had maintained back then also that the buck stops at the Prime Minister’s Office because he was the Coal Minister then and today that is what the law has reiteratred,” BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra said.
Terming it as “due process”, another BJP leader Nalin Kohli said, “The legal probe says something that applies equally to every citizen and there are no merits or demerits from that perspective. If the court does something within the legal process, that has to be followed”. The Congress said it would react only after “perusing” the court order.
“If at all the court has said something we should wait for the formal court order to come out. Only after perusing the court order will it be appropriate to comment on it,” Congress leader Manish Tewari said.
The CBI was directed by a special court to record statements of Singh, who was holding charge as Coal Minister in 2005, and others in a coal blocks allocation scam case allegedly involving top industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla. The court also refused to accept CBI’s closure report filed in the matter.
Senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan said the court order was in the offing as the former Prime Minister’s role had not been examined previously and accused the former CBI Director of filing closure reports where further investigation were required.
“It’s coming out in several cases that the former CBI Director has filed closure reports in many cases where further investigation should have been done. So this order was in the offing,” Bhushan said. CPI(M)leader Sitaram Yechury said the law will take its own course as the judicial process is underway.
“The matter is under court supervision so the law will take its course so why should we continue to go on giving a running commentary on it. There’s a judicial process on the way and that will take its course,” he said.