Former Union minister of state for coal Dasari Narayan Rao told a court on Monday that allocation of a coal block to Jindal Group was done on the behest of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought he be summoned.
Rao’s submission came while supporting former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda’s plea seeking summoning of the former prime minister in the coal block allocation case allegedly involving Jindal Steel.
Rao told Special Judge Bharat Parashar that he is supporting Koda’s application citing that it was the Prime Minister’s Office which had examined and re-examined the issue of allocation of coal block and that the decision of the allocation of Jharkhand’s Amarkonda Murgadangal to Jindal Steel and Gagan Sponge was taken on the behest of Manmohan Singh.
However, Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal’s counsel submitted that neither he is opposing nor supporting Koda’s application. He added that any order passed by the court on Koda’s application should not prejudice the rights of the accused to seek discharge from the case.
The court will hear the Central Board of Investigation submission on Tuesday.
Koda had filed a plea last month seeking summoning of Manmohan Singh in the case.
In his plea, he said: “Materials placed by the CBI shows the said conspiracy, if any, cannot be complete without the involvement of the (then) coal minister (Manmohan Singh) who had the final say in the entire allotment.”
He also sought summoning of the then energy secretary Anand Swaroop and the then mines secretary Jai Shankar Tiwari, saying they were part of the three-member sub-group formed by the Jharkhand government to evaluate the pleas of firms and suggest suitable application for recommendation by the state.
The court was hearing a case related to the allocation of Jharkhand’s Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to Jindal Steel and Gagan Sponge.
Apart from Koda, Jindal, Rao, former coal secretary H.C. Gupta and others have been named as accused in the case.
They have been charge-sheeted for criminal conspiracy and cheating as well as under the Prevention of Corruption Act.