Ex Jharkhand CM Koda convicted in coal scam case

Ex Jharkhand CM Koda convicted in coal scam case

Former Jharkhand chief  minister Madhu Koda was on Wednesday convicted by a special court on irregularities in the allocation of a coal block in the state.

Former coal secretary H C Gupta, too, was convicted in the case. The court will hear argument on the quantum of punishment on Thursday.

With this, the special CBI court hearing 30 coal scam cases has completed proceedings in four cases. Twelve people and four companies were convicted in these four cases.

Koda and Gupta are among those convicted in a case pertaining to irregularities in allocating Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to the Kolkata-based Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL). VISUL has also been found guilty.

Gupta, who is facing 11 coal scam cases, was earlier sentenced to two years in another coal case.

While special CBI judge Bharat Parashar held Koda, Gupta and former Jharkhand chief secretary A K Basu guilty, it acquitted four people - VISUL's director Vaibhav Tulsyan, two public servants Basant Kumar Bhattacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh as well as chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan.

The accused were charged under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servants) of the IPC and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

According to the CBI, VISUL had applied for allocation of Rajhara North coal block in 2007. However, the state government or Ministry of Steel did not recommend their name initially. The company was included later at  Koda's behest.

Gupta, who was chairman of the screening committee, took forward the application by concealing the fact from then prime  minister Manmohan Singh, who handled the coal ministry, too, that Jharkhand had not recommended VISUL for allocation of a coal block.

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