Trial court lawyer needs to be appointed as SPP for ED cases: Supreme Court in Coal Scam case
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Trial court lawyer needs to be appointed as SPP for ED cases: Supreme Court in Coal Scam case

The Court had earlier sought recommendations of names to replace Senior Counsel RS Cheema as SPP, after he requested that he be relieved from the post.

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court today indicated that it might finalise a name for the appointment of Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) for cases filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the coal scam on Monday, February 10.

Senior Counsel RS Cheema had earlier sought to be relieved from his duties as the SPP in the matter, leading to a deliberation on his replacement.

The Court had earlier sought recommendations of names for this appointment. Today when the matter was taken up by the Special Bench of CJI SA Bobde and Justice Deepak Gupta, Senior Counsel Maninder Singh's name was suggested.

Senior Advocate RS Cheema
Senior Advocate RS Cheema

Without taking a call on the same, the Court said that the person to be recommended should be a trial court lawyer and that the Court is not looking for an expert lawyer who practices at the High Court or Supreme Court.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought time from the Court till Monday to respond on the recommended names. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, however, submitted before the Court that the appointment should be made by the Court and not by the government.

All the same, the Court has granted time to Mehta till Monday. It further informed that when the case is taken up on Monday, the Court may announce the name of the SPP appointed.

One of the names suggested earlier for the appointment was that of DP Singh. However the appointment was not made.

In 2014, the Supreme Court had cancelled 214 coal block allocations made since 1993 shortly after a judgment was passed declaring all coal block allocations as illegal.

The trial in the Coal Scam case is being monitored by a dedicated Bench of the Supreme Court since 2013. The last Special Bench for this case was headed by Justice AK Sikri until his retirement in March last year.

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