The coal block allocation scam unearthed during the previous UPA government on Friday claimed the first set of casualty among public servants, with the conviction of a former and two serving bureaucrats by a Delhi Court.
H C Gupta, who was the Coal Secretary from December 31, 2005 to November 2008, then joint secretary K S Kropha and then director K C Samaria in the Ministry of Coal, were on Friday held guilty in a case relating to irregularities in the allocation of Thesgora-B Rudrapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh to Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd (KSSPL).
Gupta was accused in 11 cases while Kropha and Samaria were allegedly involved in eight and six cases of coal scam respectively.
A total of 28 cases had arisen from the coal block allocation scam, the investigation of which was monitored by the Supreme Court. At first, the CBI was probing the allocation from 2004 to 2010 and later its ambit was expanded to cover them since 1993.
Till now, three cases have been decided with the first conviction order passed on March 28, 2016, in a case pertaining to irregularities in allotment of a coal block in Jharkhand to a firm Jharkhand Ispat Pvt Ltd (JIPL) whose two directors R S Rungta and R C Rungta were awarded four year jail term.
The second conviction followed four months later on July 26 in which Rathi Steel and Power Ltd (RSPL) and three of its officials -- Managing Director Pradeep Rathi, Chief Executive Officer Udit Rathi and AGM Kushal Aggarwal -- were held guilty by the court for "deceiving" the government by making false representation even before then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Friday's decision by Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar, who was appointed exclusively to deal with the coal scam cases, was the third.
Besides the three public servants, others convicted are the firm KSSPL and its managing director Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia.
Among the other important cases arising out of the coal scam related to the allocation of Talabira II coal block in Odisha to M/s Hindalco in 2005 in which the name of then PM Manmohan Singh was dragged as one of the accused. Singh was then also holding the charge of the Coal Ministry.