Coal block allocation: Court says Naveen not involved in conspiracy

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New Delhi: The Special CBI court today made it clear Odisha’s chief minister Naveen Patnaik was not involved in scheming allocation of Talabira coal block to Hindalco.

In its order, the court said, “Naveen was not into the conspiracy regarding coal block allocation.”

However, the court added, it is “not coincidence” that the chief minister wrote a letter to the then prime minister. Hindalco had successfully “managed to convince” the chief minister to get the recommendation in its favour through a letter to Manmohan Singh.

Yesterday, a special court summoned former prime minister Manmohan Singh, industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla, ex-coal secretary P.C. Parakh and three others as accused in the coal scam case pertaining to allocation of Talabira-II coal block in Odisha in 2005 and asked to appear before it on April 8.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar summoned the six accused on April 8 for the alleged offences punishable under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent) of the IPC and under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).

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