Coal scam: Court convicts former coal secretary, others
A Delhi Court on Friday convicted former Coal Secretary H C Gupta and former joint-Secretary in the Ministry of Coal (MoC), K S Kropha, for criminal conspiracy, cheating, and corruption in a coal scam case related to the irregularities in allocation of Lohara East coal block in Maharashtra.
Special Judge Arun Bhardwaj also convicted Grace Industries Ltd. (GIL) and its Director Mukesh Gupta for criminal conspiracy and cheating, and posted the matter for August 4, when the court will hear arguments on the quantum of sentence to be awarded to four convicts.
Gupta was earlier convicted in three other coal scam cases and his appeal against those convictions is pending before Delhi High Court. He is currently on bail.
According to the CBI, between 2005 and 2011, the accused persons hatched a criminal conspiracy and cheated MoC, and the Government of India by dishonestly and fraudulently inducing the MoC to allocate ‘Lohara East Coal Block’ in favour of GIL based on false information about net worth, capacity, equipment, and status of procurement and installation of the plant.
CBI also stated that the company, in its application, claimed its net worth as Rs 120 crore whereas its networth was only Rs 3.3 crore and that the company also falsified its existing capacity as 1,20,000 TPA against 30,000 TPA.
The Supreme Court on August 25, 2014, cancelled the entire allocations of coal blocks.
Today’s order was the 11th conviction in the coal scam cases secured by the prosecution.
The trial of the case was conducted by senior advocate R S Cheema, Deputy Legal Advisor of CBI, Sanjay Kumar, and senior public prosecutor A P Singh.