New Delhi(web team): News Agency PTI reports that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been summoned as accused in the coal block allocation scam. In January this year, the CBI was said to have examined former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in relations to the coal block allocation case to Hindalco Industries.
Manmohan Singh was the coal minister when Talbira II coal block was allocated to Hindalco Industries of Aditya Birla Group.
The special court had refused to accept CBI’s closure report and has asked it to examine the coal minister at that time. The special court has summoned Singh as an accused along with industrialist K M Birla, former coal Secretary P C Parakh, two officials of Hindalco for the alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, including others.
In November last year, CBI had told the court that the agency was not permitted to examine the then Prime Minister manmohan Singh who was incharge of coal ministry when the said allocations were made.
The agency informed the court that they are also filing statements of various persons recorded during the further investigation and requested the judge that the sealed cover be not opened until it complete the probe into the case.
The progress report was filed in pursuance to the court’s December 16, 2014 order in which it had directed the agency to examine former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and some other top PMO officials.
Manmohan Singh had told CBI that Hindalco was not favoured in any manner in the allocation of Talabira-II coal block and that it was done as per prescribed procedures.
He was believed to have made this point when CBI officials examined him 10 days ago in pursuance of the orders of a special court going into the case relating to the scam.
The statement of the former prime minister, who was holding the portfolio of Coal during the relevant time, was filed as part of the CBI’s progress report in the case before the special court today.
The sources said that during the examination of Singh, he was asked about the developments in the Prime Minister Office (PMO) and Ministry of Coal after industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla had written two letters dated May 7, 2005 and June 17, 2005 to him requesting for allocation of Talabira-II coal block to Hindalco.
They said besides Singh’s statement, the agency has also filed statements of Singh’s then Principal Secretary T K A Nair and the then Private Secretary B V R Subramanyam, which was recorded in the ongoing probe in the case pertaining to allocation of Talabira-II coal block in Orissa to M/s Hindalco in 2005.