Former coal secretary H C Gupta was on Monday awarded a two-year prison term for his alleged involvement in a coal scam. The sentence, awarded to Gupta as well as senior government officials K S Kropha and K C Samaria, was delivered by a special court in New Delhi. All convicts were, however, granted bail on the same day. They will now be able to challenge their sentence in the High Court.
Special CBI Judge Bharat Parasher also slapped a penalty of Rs one lakh on each of the convicted persons. The court also fined private company Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd (KSPPL) an amount of Rs one crore.
The company’s managing director Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia has been given a prison sentence of three years, along with a fine of Rs 30 lakh.
The government officials were convicted by the special court on Friday for their involvement in the coal scam case for discrepancies in coal block allocation of Thesgora-B Rudrapuri in Madhya Pradesh, favouring a private company.
Gupta and the other officials were charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the IPC. The other allegations levelled against them were abuse of power, gaining monetary leverage regardless of public interest as well as criminal conspiracy. The charge of criminal breach of trust by a government official against Gupta, however, was later dropped by the court.
The CBI had chargesheeted KSPPL with false testaments of their qualifications while applying for the allotment. This was endorsed by several public servants connected with coal allocation. The CBI has held that KSPPL’s application itself was not complete and should have been cancelled in the first place.