Court accepts plea of ex-MoS in coal scam
The Supreme Court today agreed to hear the plea of former Minister of State for Coal Santosh Bagrodia for staying the trial against him in the coal scam case by treating him on an equal footing with ex-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
On April 1, the SC stayed the trial court summons to Singh for his personal appearance in a case of alleged criminal conspiracy and corruption in the allocation of Talabira coal blocks (II & III) in Odisha to Hindalco, an Aditya Birla group company, in 2005.
The apex court had also stayed the trial court proceedings in the case and granted similar relief to five others — Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, the then coal secretary PC Parakh, Hindalco and its Managing Director D Bhattacharya and Shubendu Amitabh, group executive president of ABMPCL, another company of the Aditya Birla Group.
Arguing for Bagrodia, senior advocate KK Venugopal said that either his client should be treated on a par with Singh or allowed to approach the Delhi High Court by lifting the SC mandate that coal scam cases could be heard only by the trial court or the SC in order to cut delays.