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Coal scam: CBI opposes Bagrodia's stand on parity with ex-PM

New Delhi: CBI today opposed in the Supreme Court the stand of ex-Union Minister Santosh Bagrodia seeking parity with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for stay of criminal proceedings against him in a coal block
PTI September 29, 2015 21:41 IST
PTI

New Delhi: CBI today opposed in the Supreme Court the stand of ex-Union Minister Santosh Bagrodia seeking parity with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for stay of criminal proceedings against him in a coal block allocation case, saying the legal provisions challenged by both of them were different.

The apex court-appointed Special Public Prosecutor for coal scam cases, R S Cheema, submitted that the 75-year-old Congress leader, who was junior minister to Singh in the coal ministry from April 2008 to May 2009, has raised those issues which needed to be discussed at the stage of charge framing.

He told a bench comprising Justices M B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri that he has not been summoned under the sections which has been challenged by Singh.

Cheema said while in Singh's case, constitutional validity of section 13(1)(d)(iii) of Prevention of Corruption Act has been challenged, Bagrodia's case pertained to section 13(1)(d).

Senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for Bagrodia, said he was the junior minister in the coal ministry and the deciding authority was the then Prime Minister. He submitted that there was not a case against him to raise questions of bribe or doing anything illegal.

Venugopal said he was in concurrence with the views taken by the officers from the level of section officer to the Secretary on the issue of allocation of coal block.

Read Also: No evidence against ex-PM Manmohan Singh in coal scam case, CBI tells court

The arguments remained inconclusive and would continue later.

On September 22, Venugopal had submitted that Bagrodia was entitled for the same relief the apex court gave to the then Prime Minister on April 1 by staying the order of the trial court summoning him as an accused in another case arising out of the coalgate.

CBI had opposed the plea of the former union minister for stay of proceeding against him saying their was alleged motive on his part and his role cannot be denied.

Bagrodia, former Minister of State for Coal in Singh's cabinet has been summoned as accused by special CBI court in a case concerning allocation of Maharashtra's Bander coal block to AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd.