In a sensational twist to the Hindalco coal block allocation case, a special court summoned former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as an accused while summarily rejecting the CBI closure report. The court observed that there were enough incriminating circumstances to prosecute Dr. Singh for criminal conspiracy. It is to act with a heavy conscience and with full realization what the present order or the observations being made here will have over the morale of the country as a whole. There is no mercy to the PM of India also.
The court came to a conclusion after taking cognisance of several criminal offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA). Dr. Singh will be heard by the court, when he will have to answer queries on the alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust by public servants under the IPC and criminal misconduct by a public servant under the PCA, the punishment for which could result in a life term if enforced concurrently.
The muddle in the middle of Coalgate scam is getting murkier and there is no escape route for being silent when everything was happening in front of his nose. Congress Party is in total disarray in the last 10 years of coalition rule in the country. Indian courts are issuing strict strictures nowadays ever against the ex-Prime Minister of the country without fear or favour.
After Manmohan Singh quit as Prime Minister in the aftermath of Congress party’s worst ever performance many leaders were distancing themselves from him. Some of them had even blamed him for the poll debacle.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi had taken a march along with party leaders for expressing their solidarity for Manmohan Singh. Many senior leaders and MPs marched from the Congress headquarters to Dr Singh’s residence at Motilal Nehru Marg. The likes of Digvijaya Singh, Sheila Dikshit, AK Antony, PC Chacko, P Chidambaram, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Satyavrat Chaturvedi, Veerappa Moily, Vyalar Ravi, Kumari Selja and Mani Shankar Aiyar followed Sonia Gandhi on the streets.
Even though the former PM may have little political relevance in party’s scheme of things, but Congress is more than happy to cash in on his “honest” image to boost the party’s morale in these trying times. Sonia Gandhi had discussion with her party leaders about how to challenge the court summons to Manmohan Singh in the coal scam case. She wanted to convey a message to everyone that party leaders are supporting Singh in this hour of crisis. The NDA leaders said that Manmohan Singh is only paying for the sins committed by the Congress. Finally, Manmohan Singh is receiving the support of Congress leaders which he had never received during his tenure as the Prime Minister.
C. K Subramanian