Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi/Bhubaneswar, Apr 1:
The Supreme Court today admitted a Special Leave Petition (SLP) seeking summons to be issued to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the Talabira-II coal block allocation case. The apex court agreed to conduct a hearing on the SLP along with the SLP filed earlier by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the matter.
Earlier, the special CBI trial court had summoned six persons in the matter.
“The special CBI trial court earlier had summoned six accused in the Talabira-II coal block allocation case except Odisha Chief Minister. An SLP had been filed in that connection and the Supreme Court today gave its permission for filing of the SLP. The court while admitting the SLP ordered its tagging with the SLP of Dr Manmohan Singh for a joint hearing,” said Suresh Tripathy, the petitioner’s counsel.
The BJD reacted along predictable lines saying the petition had been filed with a political objective.
“This application has been made with an objective of a political game. The claim being made that the case was reopened on the basis of the letter of Naveen Patnaik is completely false and baseless. It is very much clear in the judgment and the file noting made therein. I have read the judgment and the matrix provided by the court on the flow of happenings. After being first sanctioned by the PMO, the file (application) returned to the Coal Ministry. The Coal secretary wrote to the concerned section that it be expedited. In the month of May, another letter from the PMO sought reconsideration of the application of Aditya Birla. Between the months of May and August, Aditya Birla had written four times on the issue. The Chief Minister wrote on August 19 on behalf of the Odisha government recommending Aditya Birla’s case. So, it is clear that the PMO had already written for reconsidering/reopening of the case much before the Chief Minister wrote the letter. This has been mentioned in the judgment,” said Pratap Keshari Deb, BJD spokesperson.