CBI files charge-sheet against ex-Coal Secy
The CBI has filed a fresh charge sheet against former Coal Secretary H C Gupta, already facing prosecution in over seven cases related to the coal scam, in connection with alleged irregularities in allocation of a Chattisgarh-based coal block to SKS Ispat and Power Ltd (SIPL).
Besides the former Coal Secretary, the final report named senior public servant K S Kropha, the firm, its two directors Anil Gupta and Deepak Gupta, and three others –Amit Singh, Rakesh Singh and Jagan Nath Panda –as accused, claiming that they misrepresented facts before the Screening Committee in relation to the land and net worth of company. The court is likely to take up the final report for consideration on Friday.
According to the sources, the CBI has claimed in the final report that the accused hatched a criminal conspiracy to cheat the Screening Committee, in order to bag mining contract for Fatehpur Coal Block in Chattisgarh. The probe agency has charged the accused with forgery, cheating, criminal conspiracy and criminal misconduct. According to the CBI, SIPL had got Fatehpur coal block in Chhattisgarh in 2008. It said that the company misrepresented on aspects of preparedness and was ineligible on the issue of net worth. The CBI had registered FIR in the matter in 2014.
In a surprising move, the former Coal Secretary had on August 16, told the court that he intended to “face trial from inside the jail” and withdraw his personal bond to secure bail due to financial difficulties. However, he later withdrew his plea. Around eight different charge sheets have already been filed against Gupta and proceedings are going on individually. The Supreme Court had recently dismissed his plea seeking joint trial in all these cases.
Some of the cases in which Gupta was summoned as accused by the court include those relating to alleged irregularities in allocation of Thesgora-B Rudrapuri coal block to Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd (KSSPL) and allocation of Moira and Madhujore (North and South) coal blocks in West Bengal’s Raniganj area to Vikash Metal and Power Ltd.