Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and former coal secretary HC Gupta were today sentenced to three years in jail by a Special CBI court in Delhi in a coal scam case. The court also imposed a fine of 25 lakh rupees on Koda and one lakh rupees on Gupta.
Former Jharkhand chief secretary A K Basu and Madhu Koda’s close aide Vijay Joshi were also awarded three-year jail term in the case. The court also convicted Kolkata-based company, Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd and imposed a fine of 50 lakh rupees on it.
The convicts, including Madhu Koda, however, were granted statutory bail for a period of two months to enable them to file appeals in the Delhi High Court challenging the conviction and the jail term.
On Wednesday, the court found them guilty of various offences, including criminal conspiracy, in the case pertaining to irregularities in allocation of Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to the Kolkata-based VISUL. The Special Court, however, had acquitted four other accused including VISUL’s Director of all charges.
The CBI alleged that the firm had applied for allocation of Rajhara North coal block on January 8, 2007. It said although the Jharkhand government and Steel Ministry did not recommend VISUL’s case for coal block allocation, the 36th Screening Committee recommended the block to the convicted firm.
The CBI said that HC Gupta, who was chairman of the screening committee, had allegedly concealed facts from then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, that Jharkhand had not recommended VISUL for allocation of a coal block. Dr Singh was then heading the Coal Ministry too.