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Coal scam case: Delhi court convicts ex-coal secy H C Gupta, three others

Shreya Jai/New Delhi 20 May 17 | 01:03 AM

CBI had filed charges in October 2015 against H C Gupta (left), accusing him of having kept then PM Manmohan Singh, who also had the coal portfolio, in the dark

In the second major verdict on the set of cases from the coal allocation scam of 2012, a Delhi court has convicted former Union coal secretary H C Gupta, ex-joint secretary K S Kropha and then director K C Samaria of the same ministry.

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It also convicted KSSPL and the entity's managing director, Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia. The sentences would be given on Monday.

Last year in April, a four-year jail term was given to Jharkhand Ispat Pvt Ltd's Chairman R C Rungta and company director R S Rungta, besides imposing a fine of Rs 5 lakh each on the duo for deceiving and defrauding the government to get a coal block allocation. A fine of Rs 25 lakh was also imposed on the company.

Friday's verdict was on irregularity in the allocation of the Thesgora-B Rudrapuri block in Madhya Pradesh to KSSPL. The court said the company's application for the block was incomplete. "This was supposed to be rejected by the ministry as it was not in accordance with the guidelines issued," it observed.

As for KSSPL, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had accused it of misrepresenting its net worth and capacity. It also said the state government had not recommended the company for an allocation.

CBI had started the probe after the Union comptroller and auditor general's(CAG) report in 2012 alleged a Rs 1.86 lakh crore windfall gain to companies from the irregularities. A court was named to exclusively deal with the cases filed on the scam.

CBI had filed charges in October 2015 against Gupta, accusing him of having kept the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who also had the coal portfolio, in the dark. This, it said, was both a breach of law and of the trust reposed on him.

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