No evidence against Manmohan Singh in coal case: CBI

New Delhi, Sep 28 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday told a special court that there is no prima facie evidence against former prime minister Manmohan Singh in coal block allocation case allegedly involving Jindal group firms.

Special Public Prosecutor R. S. Cheema told Special Judge Bharat Parashar that there is no prima facie evidence against Manmohan Singh to name him as an accused in allocation of Jharkhand’s Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to Jindal Steel and Gagan Sponge.

Former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda had filed a plea last month seeking summoning of Manmohan Singh in the case but the CBI opposed it saying that the application was filed to delay the trial.

The court set October 16 for delivering its order on Koda’s plea.

Koda, in his plea, said: “Materials placed by the CBI shows the said conspiracy, if any, cannot be complete without the involvement of the (then) coal minister (Manmohan Singh) who had the final say in the entire allotment.”

He also sought summoning of the then energy secretary Anand Swaroop and the then mines secretary Jai Shankar Tiwari, saying they were part of the three-member sub-group formed by the Jharkhand government to evaluate the pleas of firms and suggest suitable application for recommendation by the state.

Apart from Koda, Congress leader Naveen Jindal, former union minister of state for coal Dasari Narayan Rao, former coal secretary H.C. Gupta and others have been named as accused in the case.

They have been charge sheeted for criminal conspiracy and cheating as well as under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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