New Delhi | The Supreme Court today stayed a CBI special court order summoning former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to appear before it on April 8 as an accused in the coal block allocation scam case.
A two-judge bench issued notice to the CBI and sought a reply from the agency in three weeks. Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, appearing for Dr Manmohan Singh, told the apex court that he had not committed any illegality while allocating Talabira-II coal block to Kumarmangalam Birla-owned Hindalco.
The former Prime Minister, Mr Sibal said, has followed all the rules and regulations while allocating the coal block. This is not a case where summons could have been issued, he said.
Mr Sibal contended that the lower court had not referred to the closure report while issuing summons to the Dr Singh.
It was, he said, an administrative decision taken by the former Prime Minister.
You cannot term the allocation to a private party as an illegal decision.
The lower court order issuing summons to the former Prime Minister seems to be completely perverse. The senior lawyer submitted that the ingredient of criminal conspiracy was missing. He questioned where did Dr Singh meet the private parties?
Allocating natural resources to a private party is not an act of corruption and criminal conspiracy. If the former Prime Minister was giving an allocation to a private party then how can it be termed as an act of corruption?
On last Wednesday, the 84-year-old former Prime Minister had moved the apex court seeking to quash the summons. Besides Dr Manmohan Singh, the special CBI court had also issued summons against former coal secretary P C Parakh and four others.
Judge Parashar had directed Dr Manmohan Singh and the others to appear before his court on April 8.
It had issued summons against Dr Manmohan Singh under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and corruption.
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