The CBI was on Tuesday asked by a Special Court as to whether it has examined former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was then holding coal portfolio, during its probe in the coal blocks allocation scam case involving top industrialist KM Birla, former coal secretary P C Parakh and others.
Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar asked the agency,”Don’t you think examination of the then coal minister was necessary in the matter? Don’t you feel the need to examine him? Don’t you think his statement was necessary to present a clear picture?”
Responding to this, the investigating officer (IO) told the court that the officials of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) were examined during the probe and it was found that statement of the then coal minister was not necessary.
He, however,clarified that the then coal minister was not permitted to be examined.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was holding the portfolio of coal ministry when Birla’s firm Hindalco was allocated coal blocks in Orissa’s Talabira II & III in 2005.
“PMO officials were examined. The then minister of coal was not examined in light of the statement of PMO officials,” the IO said, adding “the then coal minister was not permitted to be examined. It was found that his statement was not necessary”.