Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s office under scanner in coal scam

The office of former Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh is under investigation for alleged irregularities in allocating the coal blocks. According to reports, Minister of State for PMO and personnel Jeetendra Singh said in the Lok Sabha that the CBI is currently probing the ex-Prime Minister’s office. Singh did not take the name of the former Prime Minister.

The minister submitted a written reply in the Lok Sabha yesterday, where he stated that the CBI has obtained files in at least 20 cases related to the coal block allocations from the ex-PM’s office. He added that the former PM also acted in the capacity of the Minister of Coal.

The Minister said, “CBI has examined officers of PMO in this regard who have dealt the files of allocations of coal blocks. However, CBI has not filed any charge sheet against the officers of PMO in the court and also not referred any matter to the government for taking action, so far.”

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It is notable here that the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was given clean chit by CBI court in September 2015 which stated that there was no prima facie evidence to suggest he was involved in allocating coal blocks to Jindal group of companies. Former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda, who was one of the accused in the scam had alleged that if there was any conspiracy in allocation of Jharkhand’s Amarkonda Murdangal coal block, it could not have been done without the knowledge of the former PM Manmohan Singh who was also the coal minister at that time.

The coal block scam is regarded as one of the biggest scams in India. The final CAG report in the matter pegs the total loss to the country at 1.86 lakhs crores. After the NDA government came to power, the process of allocation of coal blocks was cancelled and reallocation was done in a transparent auction.

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