Coal scam: Former PM Manmohan Singh says truth will prevail
Extremely upset with the summons issued to him in connection with the coal blocks allocation scam, former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said that the truth will prevail in the case. “Of course, I am upset, but this is a part of life. I am sure that truth will prevail and I will get a chance to put forward my case with facts,” he told the media in Parliament.
Earlier in the day, a special CBI court summoned the former prime minister as an accused in a coal scam case. Industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla, former coal secretary P C Parakh and three others were also summoned as accused.
The court summoned them for offences of criminal conspiracy, breach of trust and under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act. They have all been asked to appear before the court on April 8.
In September 2005, Parakh recommended the allocation of the Talabira-II and Talabira-III coal blocks jointly to Hindalco, Mahanadi Coalfields and Neyveli Lignite. Hindalco is an Aditya Birla Group firm. The-then prime minister, who was holding the additional charge of the Coal Ministry, had approved the proposal in October that year.
In October 2013, the CBI had filed an FIR in which it named Parakh and Birla for criminal conspiracy and criminal misconduct. The CBI had filed its closure report in the case in August 2014, citing lack of evidence of wrongdoing against the duo.
However, the Supreme Court had in September last year pulled up the CBI for being in a hurry to close the case. The investigating agency filed its revised report in October.
Later in November, the CBI said that it has enough material on record to take cognisance of the offences. However, the court asked the CBI as to why the former prime minister was not examined and in December directed the agency to record Manmohan Singh’s statement.
In January this year, the CBI presented its status report after recording the statements of the former prime minister and his aides. The CBI sought two weeks to complete its investigation.