A special court in the capital on Friday convicted former coal secretary H C Gupta in a coal scam case. Two other top bureaucrats and top brass of the company that received the coal block has also been convicted.
This is the third conviction in as many judgments on coal scam cases. HC Gupta is an accused in several other coal scam cases too.
Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar also convicted the coal ministry’s former joint secretary K S Kropha and then director K C Samaria besides others in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Thesgora-B Rudrapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh to Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd.
The court will pronounce the order on quantum of sentence on May 22.
Gupta, Kropha and Samria have been convincted of criminal conspiracy under IPC and criminal misconduct by a civil servant under PC Act. Gupta however has been acquitted of criminal breach of trust charge under IPC.
The court has acquitted chartered accountant Amit Goyal in the case.
Besides Gupta, Kropha and Samria, the court also convicted the firm KSSPL and its managing director Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia.
Kropha was the then joint secretary in the Ministry of Coal, while Samria was the then director (coal allocation-I) in the ministry.
During the hearing, the CBI had alleged that the application filed by KSSPL for the coal block was incomplete and was supposed to be rejected by the ministry as it was not in accordance with the guidelines issued.
The CBI had charged that the firm had misrepresented its net worth and existing capacity, adding that state government had also not recommended the firm for the allocation of any coal block.
The accused, however, denied the allegations during the arguments.
The court had in October last year framed charges against the accused observing that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was kept in the “dark” by Gupta, who had prima facie violated the law and the trust reposed in him on the issue of coal block allocation.
The trial and probe in coal scam cases had began in the wake of allegations of widespread irregularities in the allotment of coal blocks in the 1990s and 2000s. The Supreme Court had cancelled 214 such coal block allocations in September 2014. Several big companions, including Jindal Steel and Hindalco are accused in these cases.