January 12, 2016 2:54:03 am
Giving a slight reprieve to former Minister of State for Coal Santosh Bagrodia, the Supreme Court Monday agreed to let the special coal bench decide on his plea that his appeal against summons by the trial court in the coal blocks allocation case should be heard along with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s petition.
Bagrodia and Singh are accused in different cases in the scam. However, while Singh successfully got his trial court summons stayed by the apex court, Bagrodia’s repeated pleas for a similar relief on the ground of parity has not been allowed thus far.
Arguing Bagrodia’s case before Chief Justice T S Thakur, senior advocate K K Venugopal contended that the two matters are sought to be heard separately although common questions of law and facts are involved. He said Singh’s case was first de-linked from the batch of coal block matters by an order of the previous CJI. The former PM’s counsel, Kapil Sibal, was later asked to convince the coal bench that his case was different and should be tried separately, Venugopal said. Sibal, however, opposed Bagrodia’s plea before the CJI, arguing that there were no common grounds in the two cases.
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The CJI responded that it will allow Bagrodia’s plea to be placed before the coal bench but it would be for that bench to decide whether the two matters are similar, and whether they ought to be heard together.
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