Court reserves order in coal scam case against ex-coal secy
A special court here has reserved for February 7 its order in a coal scam case against former coal secretary H C Gupta and five others relating to alleged irregularities in allocation of a coal block in Madhya Pradesh to an accused firm.
Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Judge Bharat Parashar reserved its verdict after CBI and the accused, including Gupta, two senior government officials, K S Kropha and K C Samria, firm Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd (KSSPL), its managing director Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia and chartered accountant Amit Goyal, concluded their arguments.
Kropha was the then joint secretary in the Ministry of Coal, while Samria was the then director (coal allocation-I) section in the ministry. This is the first coal scam case involving any public servant in which the court has reserved its order.
The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Thesgora-B Rudrapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh to KSSPL. During the hearing in the case, CBI had alleged that the application filed by KSSPL for the coal block was incomplete and was supposed to be rejected by the Ministry of Coal as it was not in accordance with the guidelines issued. CBI had charged that the firm had misrepresented about 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 on him on the issue of coal block allocation. Around eight different charge sheets have 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.