First ver­dict in coal scam: Spe­cial court con­victs firm, its direc­tors

The Financial Express - - ECONOMY -

New Delhi, March 28: The coal blocks al­lo­ca­tion scam that had cre­ated a po­lit­i­cal storm dur­ing the UPA-II regime on Mon­day wit­nessed the first con­vic­tion, with a spe­cial court hold­ing Jhark­hand Is­pat Pri­vate Lim­ited (JIPL) and its two Direc­tors guilty of var­i­ous charges in­clud­ing de­ceiv­ing and de­fraud­ing the gov­ern­ment to bag a coal block in the state.

The court con­victed JIPL and its direc­tors R S Rungta and R C Rungta for the of­fence of cheat­ing and crim­i­nal con­spir­acy un­der the IPC, ob­serv­ing that they had “fraud­u­lently” and with a dis­hon­est in­ten­tion “de­ceived” the gov­ern­ment in al­lo­ca­tion of the North Dhadu coal block in Jhark­hand to the firm.

“Com­ing now to the case in hand, it is crystal clear that ac­cused per­sons (JIPL and Rung­tas) fraud­u­lently with dis­hon­est in­ten­tion de­ceived Screen­ing Com­mit­tee, MOC (Min­istry of Coal), and thereby gov­ern­ment of In­dia on the ba­sis of false rep­re­sen­ta­tion qua the is­sue of land and as re­gard the in­stalled/pro­jected ca­pac­ity of their end use project so as to pro­cure al­lot­ment of a coal block in favour of M/s JIPL,” spe­cial CBI judge Bharat Parashar said.

In its 132-page judg­ment, the court held that the “false rep­re­sen­ta­tion” by the con­victs “con- tin­ued to hold ground even when the file con­tain­ing rec­om­men­da­tion of Screen­ing Com­mit­tee went to Min­is­ter in Charge, Coal, gov­ern­ment of In­dia for fi­nal ap­proval and thus it was pri­mar­ily the gov­ern­ment which was de­ceived into mak­ing al­lot­ment of a coal block in favour of M/s JI- PL while be­liev­ing all such rep­re­sen­ta­tions to be true, which in fact they were not.”

“The in­ten­tion to de­fraud on the part of ac­cused per­sons is writ large on the face of record,” the court said.

It ob­served that of­fence of cheat­ing un­der Sec­tion 420 of the IPC was made out against the three con­victs as their act re­sulted in “de­liv­ery of a valu­able se­cu­rity”,that is is­suance of al­lo­ca­tion let­ter for al­lot­ment of coal block to the firm.

The Rung­tas, who were out on bail and were present in the court­room when the ver­dict was pro­nounced, were or­dered to be taken into cus­tody and the court has now fixed the mat­ter for March 31 for hear­ing ar­gu­ments on quan­tum of sen­tence.

Be­sides this case, 19 other cases in­ves­ti­gated by the CBI are pend­ing be­fore the court, which was set up to ex­clu­sively deal with all the coal scam mat­ters. Two other cases probed by En­force­ment Direc­torate (ED) is also pend­ing be­fore the court.

Court con­victed JIPL and its direc­tors R S Rungta and R C Rungta, ob­serv­ing that they had ‘fraud­u­lently’ and with a dis­hon­est in­ten­tion ‘de­ceived’ the govt in al­lo­ca­tion of the North Dhadu coal block in Jhark­hand to the firm

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