Indian Court Summons Singh for Coal Field Corruption Case
A special court in India on Wednesday summoned former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to face corruption charges related to the sale of coal fields under his government.
Judges ordered Mr. Singh and five others in the case to appear on April 8.
The government sold more than 200 coal blocks during Mr. Singh's time, but India's national auditor said in 2012 that awarding the contracts without competitive bidding cost the government billions of dollars. The supreme court ruled last year the process was illegal.
The charges are part of a string of corruption allegations to hit the Congress party-led government during Mr. Singh's time as prime minister, which also included auditors reporting $40 billion in losses in the sale of mobile phone licenses and widespread graft during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Congress Party spokesman Manish Tewari said "the former government has absolutely nothing to hide" and that they conducted themselves with utmost transparency.
Mr. Singh was prime minister from 2004 until last year. He was replaced by Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Australia's Abbott Calls Aboriginal Communities a 'Lifestyle Choice'
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is coming under criticism after he lamented what he called the "lifestyle choices" of the country's remote indigenous community.
Mr. Abbott made the comments Tuesday in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in which he defended his plan to shut down up to 150 Aboriginal communities.
The conservative prime minister said that if people wanted to live in remote locations, as many Aborigines do, "there's a limit to what you can expect the state to do for you."
"What we can't do is endlessly subsidize lifestyle choices if those lifestyle choices are not conducive to the kind of full participation in Australian society that everyone should have," he said.
The comments drew a sharp rebuke from many Australian politicians and analysts, including Warren Mundine, the prime minister's own chief adviser on Aboriginal affairs.
"It is not about a lifestyle, it is not like retiring and moving for a sea change, it is about thousands of years connection, their religious beliefs and the essence of who they are," Mundine told local media.
Australia's Aboriginal population, which has lived on the continent for at least 40,000 years, is severely disadvantaged in comparison to the rest of the country's citizens.