Ex-Coal Secretary, 2 IAS officers convicted in coal scam case

The case relates to alleged irregularities in allocation of Thesgora-B/Rudrapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh to Kamal Sponge Steel & Power Ltd.

Written by Anindya Thakuria | New Delhi | Updated: May 20, 2017 7:14 am
coal, coal scam, coal scam case,Ex-Coal Secretary, Ex-Coal Secretary convicted, india news The firm KSSPL and its managing director Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia were also convicted under charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy. (Representational image)

In the first instance of senior IAS officers being convicted in the coal scam during the UPA rule, a special court in Delhi Friday convicted H C Gupta, former Coal Secretary, and K S Kropha, former Joint Secretary in the Coal Ministry and now Meghalaya Chief Secretary, K C Samria, then Director in the Coal Ministry and now Joint Secretary in the Minority Affairs Ministry.

The court is to sentence them May 22. They were convicted under sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Indian Penal Code, charged with abusing their positions as public servants, obtaining pecuniary advantage without public interest, and criminal conspiracy. Gupta, however, was acquitted of the charge of criminal breach of trust by a public servant.

The case relates to alleged irregularities in allocation of Thesgora-B/Rudrapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh to Kamal Sponge Steel & Power Ltd.

The firm KSSPL and its managing director Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia were also convicted under charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy. The court, however, acquitted chartered accountant Amit Goyal in the case.

During proceedings earlier, Gupta, who retired as an IAS officer, burst into tears, saying he had run out of resources to hire lawyers and would rather go to jail than face trial repeatedly — he is an accused in other coal scam cases as well. Special Judge Bharat Parashar had then asked Gupta to reconsider his submission and did not let it go on record.

On Friday, after the verdict was delivered, lawyers on either side said they wanted arguments on the quantum of sentence to start immediately. The judge said he will pronounce the sentence on Monday.

In its chargesheet, the CBI had said that KSSPL had overstated its qualifications to get the coal block allotted to itself, and people in various positions in government had played along to make the allocation. The CBI said the application that the company had filed was an incomplete one and should have been rejected at the initial stage itself. During arguments, the accused denied the allegations levelled against them.

In October 2015, the court ordered framing of charges against Gupta, stating that he “withheld complete and proper information” from former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was in charge of the Coal Ministry, on the allocation of the coal block.

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  1. N
    Nixon Augustin
    May 21, 2017 at 1:29 am
    We Indians lack ethics. we are taught to achieve goals by hook or crook. This has to change first, we should start with morals in schools. we vote for criminals, rioters, hate mongers and anyone you name it. In western countries, even if someone is accused of a minor thing, it's hard for them to win elections. that's not the case in India. it's in fact a qualification to get elected. that has to change.
    Reply
    1. S
      Soundar
      May 20, 2017 at 8:39 am
      Those who buy judgements in India are roaming free and those who are unable to pay bribe are languishing in jails except few cases where the judges are honest.
      Reply
      1. N
        Nixon Augustin
        May 21, 2017 at 1:20 am
        You are very true. Modi is the first culprit. when the SC transferred the riot case to Gujarat local court, BJP declared victory even before the verdict is announced.
        Reply
      2. R
        Raghu
        May 20, 2017 at 8:37 am
        The real looters are safe by arresting these few! Billions looted in broad day light and main culprits are still living happyly?!?
        Reply
        1. R
          Rajaraja
          May 20, 2017 at 7:44 am
          Day of reckoning is very late. The real people ( Politicians) behind are left out. One more scam is brewing in Maharashtra Mumbai Nagpur highways where the govt is trying their best to reduce the compe ion and trying to cartel the 46000 crores tenders to select few. The construction industry knows who are the select few and how much money is bargained. Mr. PM Pls see the scandals in the making before it became monster.
          Reply
          1. I
            indian
            May 20, 2017 at 6:33 am
            Excellent. Now also jail the man who held the coal portfolio. Yes, PM MMS held that portfolio at the time
            Reply
            1. S
              Shyamal Ganguly
              May 20, 2017 at 6:14 am
              How much bribes did the judges collect in this case? What happened to the big fishes like BLACKFACE ex-PM, CBI director Ranjit Singh who was shelving this case ? Prashant Bhushan pointed out that Ranjit Singh was on the take and insulating the criminals from justice. Indian judges are bribe takers specially the Supreme Court Judges.
              Reply
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