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CBI report says no case against Manmohan Singh, KM Birla in Talabira coal block allocation

Mar 19, 2015 08:00 PM IST India India

New Delhi: The probe report by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the coal blocks allocation scam has made some startling revelations saying there is no proof of wrongdoing against former prime minister Manmohan Singh in the Talabira coal block allocation.

The report also gives industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla a clean chit in the case and says there is no irregularity in the Talabira allocation. The report adds that the case was closed only after a thorough probe.

Sources say that Manmohan Singh was not questioned initially since the CBI did not find any irregularity in the Talabira-II allocation. Sources add that there's no proof of criminal conspiracy or dishonest intention on the part of both Singh and Birla.

Besides Singh, former coal secretary PC Parakh, Hindalco, Kumar Mangalam Birla and two others were accused in the coal block allocation scam. They were asked to appear in the special court on April 8.

The court had summoned them for offences of criminal conspiracy, breach of trust and under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

Singh has already been questioned once in the case. He was examined on January 18 at his Motilal Nehru Marg residence in New Delhi.

A team of top CBI officials, including a DIG, questioned the former prime minister. Questions related to his knowledge about allocation and reasons for making deviations for a specific case were asked, the sources added.

Singh is the first former prime minister to have been interrogated in any case.

Singh's examination was in connection with allocation of Talabira II block to Hindalco when he was also holding the portfolio of coal.

Singh has defended his decision to allocate coal blocks to Hindalco and said it was approved after due deliberations.

The former prime minister is learnt to have said the decision was right and it was taken after due deliberation. He also told the investigators that there was no quid pro quo involved in the allocation of coal blocks to Hindalco.

Singh was examined about the developments which took place in the Ministry of Coal as well as the PMO after Birla had written two letters dated May 7, 2005 and June 17, 2005 to the then PM requesting for allocation of Talabira-II coal block to Hindalco.