Coal scam case: Supreme Court’s big relief for Manmohan Singh

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New Delhi | Updated: April 1, 2015 2:19:51 PM

A learning experience for the decision-makers in government...

Manmohan singh, manmohan singh coal scam, coal scam, coal scam case, supreme courtIn a relief to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Supreme Court stayed the trial court order summoning him as accused in a case pertaining to grant of Talabira-II coal block in Odisha in 2005 to Aditya Birla group company Hindalco. (Reuters)

The Supreme Court (SC) giving a big relief to the former prime minister Manmohan Singh and A V Birla Group Chairman KM Birla by staying the summon order of the CBI trial court in the coal block allocation case may go a long way in restoring the confidence of the decision-makers  in the government.

It can’t be anybody’s case that if a wrong has been committed, it should not be dealt with a firm hand but it is also true that the way coal scam case has been handled, always raised questions.

Calling Manmohan Singh to the CBI Court for questioning, who has not been charged with any crime but is being investigated for criminal conspiracy, among other things, will not be supported by even his worst critics.

Singh may be faulted for not putting his foot down on several occasions during the UPA regime, but his personal integrity has been unquestionable.

It must be remembered that Singh was in favour of auctioning coal blocks as opposed to the then practice of allocating through an opaque process; and in the 2G scam also, he was pushing for auctions but could not restrain A Raja, an important political ally.

It is ironic that when auctions have been established as a preferred way for allocating natural resources, the recent coal and spectrum auctions are expected to give the government Rs 3 lakh crore, Singh had to face CBI trials.

Though a final word in the case is yet to come from the SC — on the positive side, though, the episode will certainly be a learning experience for all those handling the government decision-making process.

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