Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda was on Saturday awarded three years jail term by a special court in a case of coal block allocation scam. The special court also awarded a three-year jail term to ex-coal secretary H C Gupta in the case.
The court imposed a fine of Rs 25 lakh on Koda and Rs one lakh on Gupta. A three year jail term was also awarded to ex-Jharkhand chief secretary A K Basu and Koda’s close aide Vijay Joshi.
However, the court has granted statutory bail for a period of two months to convicts to enable them to file appeals in the Delhi High Court challenging the conviction and the jail term.
As per PTI, the court has also convicted Kolkata-based company, Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd, and imposed a fine of Rs 50 lakh on it, in connection with the case.
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Reacting to the court order, Koda said that he was hopeful of some relief. “I was hopeful that I will get relief but the decision was against me. This is disheartening. This was Court’s verdict so I won’t comment on it but I have the option to appeal against it in the High Court,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
On Thursday, Koda had requested a special CBI court for lesser punishment on medical issues. He had also urged the court to show him leniency as he has two minor daughters. He was convicted by the court in coal scam on Wednesday.
He along with former Union coal secretary HC Gupta and four others were held guilty of corruption and other charges in 2007 coal scam case. The court had reserved its verdict on quantum of punishment till Saturday.
Special CBI judge Bharat Parashar had held Koda, Gupta and other accused persons, including former Jharkhand chief secretary AK Basu and private firm Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL), guilty of varying offences, including criminal conspiracy, in the case pertaining to irregularities in the allocation of Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to Kolkata-based VISUL.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had alleged Koda, Gupta and others conspired to favour Visul in allocating the coal block.