Advocate Manohar Lal Sharma, the main petitioner in the coal scam case, filed an application in the Supreme Court on Thursday, questioning the FIR that the CBI filed against Kumar Mangalam Birla and the former Coal Secretary, Prakash Chandra Parakh, without including the name of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Mr. Sharma said Dr. Singh had handled the coal portfolio when mining rights were allotted to Hindalco, an Aditya Birla company.
He refuted the CBI’s claim that the allotment made by the screening committee was changed by Mr. Parakh and said allotment of coal blocks was not in the hands of the committee.
Mr. Sharma produced copies of the letters written by various Ministers to the Coal Minister, requesting allocation of blocks to particular applicants.
He said relevant documents would show that the allotment was done by the Coal Minister on the recommendations of the then Minister of State for Steel and other Ministers and MPs. So far, the CBI had not recorded the statement of the then Coal Minister (Dr. Singh) and had not mentioned him as a conspirator in the FIR on the alleged irregularities in the allotment of the Talabira II block in Jharsuguda district of Odisha to Hindalco.
Mr. Sharma said that though 14 FIRs had been filed by the CBI in the coal case, he apprehended that the Prime Minister had directed the CBI to file a defective FIR against Mr. Birla and Mr. Parakh so that they could escape from criminal liability and help the accused get the FIR quashed.
He sought a directive to the Centre and the CBI to file all letters of recommendation issued by the then Minister of State for Steel and other Ministers, MPs and MLAs and file copies of the FIRs. He wanted a directive to the CBI to include the Prime Minister in the FIR registered on October 15.