New Delhi, Mar 12: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram attacked government's "silence" on CBI's "conclusion" in the coal scam case, where it had said there was no ground to initiate criminal proceedings against former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The government, he said, should stand by the CBI report if it believes in the independence of the probe agency.
"If the government believes that the CBI is truly independent and, in this case, has come out to an independent and bonafide conclusion exonerating Dr Singh, then why does the government not come out with a statement that it supports the conclusion of CBI. That would be the proper thing to do", the former Union Minister said.
"It is very difficult in view of the tragic silence of the BJP. The CBI is the executive arm of the government. The CBI has said that there is no change, no ground to take criminal action. But the government must speak up and say we stand by the CBI's report," he said.
Questioning the government's reluctance to take a stand on the CBI report, he noted that, "A court has issued summons to Manmohan Singh and others under Section 319 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the CBI has not accused Singh of any offence".
"The whole world will vouch for the integrity and honesty of Singh. The CBI, after recording Singh's statement, concluded that there were no grounds to initiate criminal proceedings against him", Chidambaram stated.
"We respect our judicial system, we respect our judges", he said, adding, "In the past, courts have taken a misstep and stumbled. Numerous examples can be cited."
He expressed confidence that when Singh's lawyers appear before court and explain the facts and the circumstances of the case, the court itself will "review its decision and drop the proceedings against Singh."
A special court had summoned Singh along with industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla, ex-coal secretary P C Parakh and three others as accused in a case pertaining to allocation of Talabira-II coal block in Odisha in 2005 and asked them to appear before it on April 8.