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Relief for Manmohan Singh

Posted in S. Asia

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Published on April 03, 2015 with No Comments

Former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh got relief from the Supreme Court which stayed the trial court order summoning him as accused in a coal block allocation case and the proceedings before it after he questioned the lack of sanction to prosecute him and contended that there was no criminality in the decision.
The relief was also extended to Hindalco Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, whose company was granted Talabira-II coal block in Odisha in 2005, former Coal Secretary P C Parakh, two Hindalco officials Shubhendu Amitabh and D Bhattacharya and the company itself.
Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar had on March 11 rejected the CBI’s closure report and summoned Singh and the other five as accused to appear on April 8.
Watched by 82-year-old Singh’s daughters Upinder and Daman Singh, the 35-minute proceedings saw a battery of lawyers, headed by senior counsel Kapil Sibal, contending that the trial court had exceeded its jurisdiction by attributing criminality in administrative decisions of the Prime Minister, who was also holding the Coal portfolio then.
“The petition raises substantial questions of law which call for authoritative pronouncement from this court in relation to the inter-play between governmental functions and criminal prosecution under the PC Act, specially in cases where there is not even a whiff, let alone an allegation of quid pro quo, and the case is based upon the processes of governmental decisions,” Sibal said.

 

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