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Ask PM to explain other 150 coal blocks' allocation, SC urged
Tuesday October 22, 2013 0:20 AM, IANS

The Supreme Court Monday was moved seeking direction to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to explain the allocation of 150 coal blocks whose legality (of allocation) is being looked into by the top court.

PIL petitioner, advocate M.L.Sharma, in an additional affidavit Monday said, "...for the first time since the coal block allocation scam came up, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has explained about one allocation. But there have been more than 150 coal block allocations, so will he be able to explain all of them."

The affidavit by Sharma comes after a statement by the Prime Minister's Office, defending allocation of Talabira-II block to Aditya Birla Groups' Hindalco in 2005 after industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla had written two letters to the prime minister and had also met the then coal secretary P.C.Parakh.

Manmohan Singh was holding the charge of the coal ministry in 2005.

Sharma has also urged the court to ask the prime minister to explain his position in respect of the FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) naming Parakh and Birla.

Sharma had moved the apex court Oct 17, seeking direction to the CBI to included the name of Manmohan Singh in the FIR naming Birla and Parakh.

The CBI in its FIR has alleged that Parakh while allocating the Odisha coal blocks to Hindalco had reversed the decision of the screening committee to allocate them to public sector Neyveli Lignite.

The apex court is holding hearing on Sharma's PIL seeking the cancellation all the coal blocks which were allocated in an irregular way in breach of statutory provisions and rules.

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