Coal scam: Jharkhand ex-CM's plea to summon Manmohan

Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda's plea seeking summoning of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and two others as additional accused in a coal allocation-related case will be heard on 2 September, a Special Court in Delhi today said.

Former MP Naveen Jindal and others were earlier charge-sheeted by CBI in the case.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar also posted the matter for arguments on framing of charges in the case from 5 October to 8 October after all the accused said that scrutiny of documents filed along with the charge sheet was complete.

During the hearing, the counsel appearing for former Coal Secretary H C Gupta also moved an application seeking dropping of proceedings against him on account of lack of sanction to try him for the alleged offences in the case.

The court fixed Gupta's application for hearing on 3 September.

As soon as the proceedings commenced, Gupta's counsel moved the application, saying it should be heard before arguments on framing of charges, as the matter involves legal issues.

Koda's counsel also said his plea for summoning the former Prime Minister, who was also the coal minister at that time, and two others as additional accused in the case, should be heard before the stage of arguments on framing of charges.

Initially the court asked both the defence counsel that they could advance their arguments on their respective pleas simultaneously with the arguments on charges but the advocates said their matters should be heard first.

''In view of the submissions made by the defence counsel, the matter is now adjourned for arguments on applications moved by accused no 8 (Koda) and 9 (Gupta) for September 2 and 3 and the matter thereafter be fixed for arguments on framing of charges from October 5 to 8,'' the judge said.

Jindal, Koda, Gupta and 12 others were charge-sheeted by CBI in a case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand to two Jindal group companies, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Private Ltd (GSIPL).