Manmohan Singh seeks early hearing of appeal in coal scam case

New Delhi: Former prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has sought an early hearing in the Supreme Court on his appeal filed against a trial court summoning him as an accused in the coal scam case.

Dr. Singh had earlier told the CBI that he cannot be held responsible for the allocation of coal blocks, as he had many other issues to worry about when he was holding additional charge of the coal ministry.

The former prime minister said it was then coal secretary P.C. Parakh¿s responsibility to highlight the guidelines of allocation to him if these had a bearing on the decisions to be taken as coal minister, a portfolio he held in 2005 when the allocation of a coal block for Hindalco was discussed.

Former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda had earlier sought the summoning of Dr. Singh as an additional accused in the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal scam case, claiming there was no evidence to show his complicity in the allocation of the said coal block to firms of the Jindal group.

The CBI had last month told a special court that there was ¿no prima facie evidence¿ against Dr. Singh to summon him as an accused.

The massive irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks came to light in 2012 after the national auditor said that a notional amount of Rs. 1.86 lakh crore had been lost with blocks being distributed without a transparent bidding process.

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