COAL SCAM: Ex-coal sec­re­tary HC Gupta gets 3 years in jail

Financial Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - FC BU­REAU

A Delhi court on Wed­nes­day sen­tenced former coal sec­re­tary HC Gupta to 3year im­pris­on­ment in a coal block al­lo­ca­tion scam case, which hap­pened dur­ing the pre­vi­ous UPA regime at the Cen­tre. Two other bu­reau­crats — KS Kropha and KC Sam­ria — were also awarded 3-year of jail term. The three bu­reau­crats were also fined Rs 50,000 each. They were later granted statu­tory bail as the jail term was be­low four years.

The case per­tains to ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the al­lo­ca­tion of Moira and Mad­hu­jore (North and South) coal blocks in West Ben­gal to VMPL.

Spe­cial judge Bharat Prasar sen­tenced other con­victed per­sons Vikas Patni, MD of Vikash Me­tals and Power (VMPL), and its autho­rised sig­na­tory Anand Mal­lick to 4 years jail term. The court also im­posed a fine of Rs 25 lakh on Patni and Rs 2 lakh on Mal­lick. They were sent to jail. A fine of Rs 1 lakh was im­posed on the com­pany.

In Septem­ber 2012, the CBI reg­is­tered an FIR in the case. The CBI had sought a max­i­mum of seven years im­pris­on­ment for the five con­victed per­sons and im­po­si­tion of heavy fine on the pri­vate firm. The of­fences for which they had been con­victed en­tail a min­i­mum pun­ish­ment of one year in jail, go­ing up to a max­i­mum of seven years.

The court had on Novem­ber 30 con­victed Gupta, former joint sec­re­tary in the min­istry of coal Kropha and the then di­rec­tor (CA-I) in the min­istry Sam­ria. It had also con­victed the firm, Patni and Mal­lick.

Gupta, who was the coal sec­re­tary from De­cem­ber 31, 2005 to Novem­ber 2008, has al­ready been con­victed be­fore this in two other cases of coal block al­lo­ca­tion in which he had been sen­tenced to jail for two and three years, re­spec­tively. He is out on bail in both the cases.

Kropha, who was then the joint sec­re­tary, min­istry of coal, re­tired in De­cem­ber 2017 as the chief sec­re­tary of Megha­laya. He has also been con­victed and sen­tenced to two years in an­other coal block al­lo­ca­tion scam and has been on bail.

Sam­ria then held the rank of di­rec­tor in the min­istry of coal and is joint sec­re­tary in min­istry of mi­nor­ity af­fairs. He has al­ready been con­victed and sen­tenced to two years jail term in an­other case and was out on bail. All the con­victed per­sons were taken into ju­di­cial cus­tody after pro­nounce­ment of the or­der on the di­rec­tion of the court.

All have been held guilty for the of­fences un­der Preven­tion of Cor­rup­tion Act and IPC, in­clud­ing cheat­ing, crim­i­nal con­spir­acy and crim­i­nal mis­con­duct.

Gupta has been ac­cused in 12 cases of al­leged ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in coal block al­lo­ca­tion scam, pros­e­cu­tors had said. The CBI has filed charge sheets in con­nec­tion with al­leged ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in 40 cases of coal block al­lo­ca­tions dur­ing the UPA-1 and UPA-2 regime. On July 25, 2014, the Supreme Court had ap­proved ap­point­ment of ad­di­tional ses­sions judge Parashar as spe­cial judge to ex­clu­sively deal with all coal scam cases. Till now the spe­cial court has de­cided six such cases.

The CBI has filed charge sheets in con­nec­tion with al­leged ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in 40 cases of coal block al­lo­ca­tions dur­ing the UPA-1 and UPA-2 regime

Former coal sec­re­tary HC Gupta

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.