The court asked this after Koda’s counsel Anshuman Sinha argued that there was no conspiracy as alleged by CBI in its charge sheet in the case

Manmohan Singh

Did you want to summon former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh “simply for fun?” a special court on Monday asked ex-Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda after taking exception to alleged inconsistencies in his submissions regarding conspiracy in a coal block allocation scam case.”Was it simply for fun that you had moved that application for summoning the former Prime Minister?” Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar asked Koda’s counsel when he was arguing on framing of charges in the case.The court asked this after Koda’s counsel Anshuman Sinha argued that there was no conspiracy as alleged by CBI in its charge sheet in the case. “Please co-relate your that application (in which he had sought summoning of Manmohan Singh and two others as accused in the case) with the arguments on framing of charges now. You had then said there was a conspiracy but now you are saying there was no conspiracy,” the court noted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Responding to the court’s query, Koda’s counsel said that while arguing on the plea to summon Singh as an accused, he had only said that as per CBI’s case there was a conspiracy. “I have only said that if at all there was any conspiracy then he (Singh) should be called as well. CBI cannot have different yardsticks,” he told the court. The court had earlier dismissed Koda’s plea seeking to summon Singh and two others as additional accused in the case relating to alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand to Jindal Group firms — Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Private Ltd (GSIPL).During the arguments today, Koda’s counsel said there was no evidence suggesting any conspiracy as far as his client was concerned. “I have to have the knowledge first which could bring me under the ambit of conspiracy. There is no knowledge on my part…. There is nothing to show that Koda had any knowledge of the alleged illegal act and there was no intention to act in its furtherance as well,” he said.Besides Koda, CBI had chargesheeted 14 others, including former Congress MP Naveen Jindal, former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao and former Coal Secretary H C Gupta.All the accused have denied the allegations against them.During the arguments, Gupta’s counsel told the court that being a public servant then, he was duty bound to follow and implement the government’s policy which he did. “Ministry of Coal was then headed by then Prime Minister. I was only following the guidelines of government of India,” he said. The arguments on framing of charges in the case would continue tomorrow. CBI had earlier told the court that Jindal, Rao, Koda and Gupta had conspired with others to get the coal block allocated in favour of the two Jindal group firms.Besides them, the other individual accused are — Rajeev Jain, Director of Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, Girish Kumar Suneja and Radha Krishna Saraf, Directors of GSIPL, Suresh Singhal, Director of New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd, K Ramakrishna Prasad, Managing Director of Sowbhagya Media Ltd and chartered accountant Gyan Swaroop Garg. These accused are currently out on bail. Besides the ten accused, five firms — JSPL, Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, Gagan Infraenergy Ltd (formerly known as GSIPL), Sowbhagya Media Ltd and New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd — are also accused in the case.

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Court raps Madhu Koda, asks if plea to summon Manmohan Singh filed ‘simply for fun’