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India: CBI told to quiz Manmohan Singh in coal scam case

| by Pramod Kumar

CBI told to quiz Manmohan Singh in coal scam case (Photo: PTI/File)
( December 17, 2014, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian)  In a move which is bound to have long-term political repercussions, a special CBI court Tuesday directed the investigative agency to examine former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over its probe into the allocation of the Talabira-II coal block to Hindalco in 2005 that involved top industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla. Dr Singh held the coal portfolio in 2005. Besides Dr Singh, the court also said it would be appropriate if the investigating officer examines B.V.R. Subramanyam, who was PS to the then Prime Minister, and T.K.A. Nair, who was then working as principal secretary in the PMO, in connection with the case.

Sending the matter back to the CBI for a further probe after it had filed a closure report in the case, special judge Bharat Parashar said it would be “appropriate” the then coal minister be “first examined” on various aspects of the matter. “I am of the considered opinion that before the matter is examined further as to what offence, if any, stands committed or by whom the same has been committed, it will be appropriate that the then minister of coal (Manmohan Singh) be first examined qua various aspects of the matter,” the judge said in a 50-page order, directing the agency to file a progress report January 27. A senior CBI official said it would soon comply, and question Dr Singh and the two former officials.

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