The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that there could be no parity between the former minister of state for coal Santosh Bagrodia and former prime minister Manmohan Singh in a coal scam case as prima facie it is case of “grave suspicion” against the former.
The agency told a bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice A.K.Sikri that both Bagrodia and Manmohan Singh were charged under different section of the law and could not be put on the same pedestal by Bagrodia to seeking a stay of the trial.
Special Public Prosecutor in coal scam cases R.S.Cheema told the court that while Bagrodia’s case related to section 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, in the case of Manmohan Singh, the constitutional validity of section 13(1)(d)(iii) of the act is under challenge.
Appearing for Bagrodia, senior counsel K.K.Venugopal said there was no case of guilty intention against his client as he had no authority to decide and authority rested with the then prime minister who was also holding the charge of the coal ministry.
He also told the court that his client had just signed on the file that travelled to him from the section officer to secretary of the coal ministry, and wondered how he could be hauled up meekly for putting his “initials” on the file that came to him through the officials.
As arguments remained inconclusive, the hearing will continue in October.