Deccan Chronicle - - Oped -

The con­vic­tions of for­mer IAS and ex-coal sec­re­tary H.C. Gupta, for­mer joint sec­re­tary in the Coal Min­istry, K.S. Kropha and the then di­rec­tor in the same min­istry, K.C. Sam­ria, in the coal scam, has come as a blow to the IAS (Cen­tral) As­so­ci­a­tion. The three babus were held guilty of cor­rup­tion and crim­i­nal con­spir­acy in a case linked to the al­lot­ment of coal blocks in West Ben­gal.

How­ever, a sec­tion of re­tired and serv­ing babus has al­ways main­tained that their for­mer col­leagues were in­no­cent. Per­haps un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally, the IAS As­so­ci­a­tion re­sponded to the news by chang­ing its Twit­ter logo in sup­port of the con­victed babus. Fur­ther, it tweeted that the con­vic­tion was “most un­for­tu­nate” and this was a “black let­ter day for bu­reau­cracy”. It also added that it stood in sup­port of the three babus “in this time of dis­tress”.

While it is true that Gupta and co have many sup­port­ers within the babu ranks, the writ­ing was on the wall for some time. In May 2017 Gupta and the other two of­fi­cers were con­victed and sen­tenced to a two-year jail term, though they got bail. Now by pub­licly stand­ing up in sup­port of the con­victed babus, is the as­so­ci­a­tion an­gling for a con­fronta­tion with the Supreme Court?

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