Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or Ahmed Patel,Political Advisor to UPA Chairperson.Both or none of them.The UPA government can not pass the buck on the alleged crime committed by it on allocation of coal blocks.
Here is why?
One: The Section 34 of The Coal Mines Nationalisation Act 1973 provides for”power to make rules” .
Two: The Section 34 (3) of the 1973 Act provides for laying such Rules in Parliament and subject to modifications of Parliament if any .
Three: Formation of screening committee for allocation of coal block as well as the guidelines formed by the Ministry of Coal has not been laid down before Parliament.To the contrary an amendment to the Coal Mines Nationalisation Act 1973 is pending before Parliament.Hence the contention of the Manmohan Singh government that screening committee was allowed to function as amendment was expected to take time,does not hold ground.
Because if that be the accepted position,then not laying the formation of screening committee as well as guideline before Parliament can not but has to be a real conspiracy.Right?
Four:The Supreme Court has asked the Central Government whether there was inbuilt transparency in the guidelines?If these guidelines were not laid before Parliament (for modification if any) then where is the institutional transparency in the guidelines?
Five:Section 30 of the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation )Act 1957 provides for Power of Revision by Central Government. If the blocks have been allocated by the Central Government itself then what is the internal remedy for a dissatisfied applicant of a coal block ?The guideline does not provide for any internal remedy of Appeal or Revision before any designated tribunal by an aggrieved person.
Six: Central Government is trying to throw the responsibility of allocation on State Government.It is just to pass the buck since as per the law,the Application Fee of Rs. 10000 paid by the applicant who was awarded the coal block,was received by pay & account officer of the Ministry of Coal along with Application Form which was retained by Central Government itself.
It is an accepted principle of law that responsibility of due diligence primarily lies on the Government who has accepted and retained the fee.And as such the Manmohan Singh government can not escape the charge that it had swindled the country and looted its coal reserve.