Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, Apr 6:
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik got a huge relief today when the Supreme Court dismissed a special leave petition (SLP) seeking summons to be issued to him in the Talabira II coal block allocation case.
A two-judge bench of Justice V Gopal Gowda and Justice C Nagappan, while rejecting the SLP, also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on the petitioner.
In his petition filed on March 11, the petitioner had sought summons to be issued to the Odisha Chief Minister on the grounds that it was his letter to the Centre that had tilted the scales in favour of Hindalco in the allocation of the Talabira II coal block in Sundargarh district, which had already been allocated to central PSU Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC).
Since six persons, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Coal secretary PC Parakh, had already been summoned in the case by a special CBI court in Delhi, there was no ground to exempt Patnaik from the summons, the petitioner’s counsel Suresh Tripathy had argued.
The apex court, it may be noted, has already stayed the summons issued to Manmohan Singh.