New Delhi, Apr 16 (ILNS) The Supreme Court on Monday appointed former Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh and Advocate Rajesh Batra as Special Public Prosecutors for the trial of multi-crore Coal Scam cases filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
A three-Judge Bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice V Ramasubramanian appointed the new SPPs, in place of Rajinder Singh Cheema, Senior Advocate, who had expressed to be relieved in the cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, pertaining to coal block allocation matters.
A Writ Petition was filed by Advocate Manohar Lal Sharma, seeking that the Directorate of Enforcement had also sought new SPPs to investigate the case, as the earlier ones in the matter had completed more than four years in the case. The appointment should be made at the earliest.
The Court, on 25, 2014, had appointed Rajinder Singh Cheema, Senior Advocate, as Special Public Prosecutor, to conduct the prosecution of the offences pertaining to coal block allocation, on behalf of CBI and the ED.
“Though there was no consensus on the names of individuals, the Counsels appearing on all sides unanimously agreed that the Court should appoint a seasoned Trial Court Advocate of impeccable integrity and a designated Senior Advocate to guide him and conduct the proceedings”, the bench said.
“Taking into account the above said criteria, we hereby appoint (i) Maninder Singh, Senior Advocate and former Additional solicitor General of India; and (ii) Rajesh Batra, Advocate as Special Public Prosecutors in the place of R S Cheema. Mr Cheema may get relieved upon the newly-appointed Prosecutors taking charge”, the Court said in the order.