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Manmohan Singh to appeal soon against summons in coal block allocation scam: Sources

Mar 12, 2015 08:25 AM IST India India

New Delhi: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh is planning to appeal against summons issued against him in coal block allocation scam, the sources said on Thursday. Singh was summoned on Wednesday as an accused by a special court.

Former coal secretary PC Parakh, Hindalco, Kumar Mangalam Birla and two others were also summoned as accused in the case. They have been asked to appear in the special court on April 8.

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

Reacting to the summon, Singh had said, "I am open to legal scrutiny. I am upset with summon but it is part of life," and added that he had not seen the order and would reply after consulting his lawyers.

Parakh said he had to read the full order. "It will not be appropriate for me to make any comment," he said.
Hindlaco lawyers said they could not comment without reading the order.

KM Birla's office said they had done nothing wrong and that they would issue a statement very soon.

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 industrialist KM 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.