PIL filed seeking prosecution of Manmohan Singh, ex-Coal Ministers

Manmohan Singh
New Delhi, Oct 8: After the Supreme Court quashed 214 of the 218 coal block allotments made by the government from 1993 to 2011, a fresh petition has been filed in the Apex Court to initiate a criminal prosecution against the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Coal Ministers Sriprakash Jaiswal and Shibu Soren.

The Court in its judgement on September 24 cancelled the allocations and said that they were illegally allotted.

As per the Hindu report, "Advocate M L Sharma, one of the petitioners in the coal block allocation case, has filed the application, which also seeks the prosecution of the former Coal Ministers Sriprakash Jaiswal and Shibu Soren."

The Court while quashing the allocations had said in its 163-page verdict, "To sum up, the entire allocation of coal block as per recommendations made by the Screening Committee from July 14, 1993 in 36 meetings and the allocation through the government dispensation route suffers from the vice of arbitrariness and legal flaws.

The Screening Committee has never been consistent, it has not been transparent, there is no proper application of mind, it has acted on no material in many cases, relevant factors have seldom been its guiding factors, there was no transparency and guidelines have seldom guided it. On many occasions, guidelines have been honoured more in their breach. There were no objective criteria, nay, no criteria for evaluation of comparative merits. The approach had been ad hoc and casual. There was no fair and transparent procedure, all resulting in unfair distribution of the national wealth. Common good and public interest have, thus, suffered heavily."

The Supreme Court cancelled all the coal blocks allocated from 1993 to 2011, except four vested with the NTPC and other public sector undertakings.The Apex court, however, spared 4 coal blocks allocated to public sector units -- SAIL, NTPC and two for Ultra Mega Power Projects from de-allocation.

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