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coal scamA special court today framed charges against former coal secretary H C Gupta and five others in a coal scam case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of a coal block in Madhya Pradesh to an accused firm.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar put the six on trial for alleged offences under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) of IPC and under relevant provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

Besides Gupta, the court framed charges against two senior public servants, 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.

Kropha was the then Joint Secretary in Ministry of Coal, while Samria was the then Director (Coal Allocation-I) section in the ministry. The court has now fixed the matter October 28 for admission/denial of documents by accused, filed in the case by CBI.

The court had on October 1 ordered framing of charges against these 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 imposed on him on the issue of coal block allocation.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Thesgora-B Rudrapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh to KSSPL. The court on October 13 last year had summoned them as accused after refusing to accept CBI’s closure report. The accused were earlier granted bail by the court.

CBI had lodged an FIR against KSSPL, its officials and other unknown persons for alleged misrepresentation of facts, including inflated net worth, to acquire the coal block.

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