New Delhi [India]: A Special CBI Court of Delhi on Monday awarded three years imprisonment to former Coal Secretary HC Gupta in a coal scam case after finding irregularities in the allocation of a Maharashtra coal block.
The court also awarded two years imprisonment to former joint-Secretary K S. Kropha and four years to director Mukesh Gupta of Nagpur-based firm M/s Grace Industries Ltd in the coal scam case. The Special judge Arun Bhardwaj (Coal Scam) Rouse Avenue Court on Monday while pronouncing the Judgement on sentencing also imposed a fine of Rs one lakh on HC Gupta, 50,000 Rs on KS Kropha, two lakhs on Mukesh Gupta and 2 lakhs on Nagpur based firm M/s Grace Industries Ltd.
The same court last week convicted H C Gupta Under section – 120B and section – 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, K S. Kropha, Under section – 120B and section – 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, Mukesh Gupta, Director of M/s Grace Industries Ltd. under section – 120B and section – 420 IPC and M/s Grace Industries Ltd. under section – 120B and section – 420 IPC.
The court convicted them in the Coal Scam case related to the allocation of the Lohara East Coal block situated in Maharashtra.
CBI had registered on September 20, 2012 under section – 120B r/w 420 IPC r/w 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of the PC Act, 1988. On completion of the investigation, a charge sheet under section – 420 IPC was filed by CBI against M/s Grace Industries Ltd. and Mukesh Gupta, Director of the company in the Court on October 28, 2014.
Special Judge while discussing the role of Public Servants of Ministry of Coal, Govt. of India and government of Maharashtra in the alleged crime on January 19, 2015, ordered further investigation into the matter with a direction that the evidence collected during further investigation, may be placed before the Competent Authority for the consideration of the issue of sanction to prosecute the public servants namely K. S. Kropha, the then Joint Secretary, Ministry of Coal and V. S. Sawakhande, the then Director, Directorate of Geology and Mining, Nagpur, Govt. of Maharashtra under section – 19 of the P.C. Act, 1988.
The Court on August 10, 2015, took cognizance of the offences punishable under section – 120B r/w 409/420 IPC r/w 13(2) r/w 13(1)(c) & (d) of the PC Act, 1988 and substantive offences. Accordingly, the summons was issued to the accused persons for their appearance before the Court. During the course of the trial total of 34 witnesses had been examined by the prosecution/CBI to prove its case.
According to the CBI, allegations against the convicts M/s Grace Industries Ltd. and Mukesh Gupta during the period between years 2005 to 2011 in New Delhi, Maharashtra and other places, in furtherance of the common object of the criminal conspiracy hatched with other co-accused persons i.e. H.C. Gupta, K. S. Kropha and cheated Ministry of Coal, Government of India by dishonestly and fraudulently inducing the Ministry of Coal to allocate “Lohara East Coal Block” situated in the state of Maharashtra in favour of M/s GIL on the basis of false information about net worth, capacity, equipment and status of procurement and installation of the plant.
CBI also stated that the said company in its application claimed its net worth as Rs. 120 Crores whereas its own network was 3.3 crores only Company falsified its existing capacity as 1,20,000 TPA against 30,000 TPA.
In a video order dated August 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of India cancelled the entire allocations of Coal Blocks. Vide order dated: January 19, 2015, Special Judge of the trial court had observed that the working of the officers of the Prime Minister’s office also does not appear to be above Board.
The trial of this case was conducted by Sanjay Kumar, Deputy Legal Advisor of CBI as he was appointed by the Supreme Court vide order September 1, 2014 passed by the Supreme Court of India in Coal Scam.