Coal scam: Special Central Bureau Investigation Court acquits former Coal Secretary Gupta

On Thursday, a special CBI Court acquitted Ex-Coal Secretary HC Gupta & a Delhi-based firm Pushp Steel & Mining Pvt Ltd (PSMPL) in an alleged coal scam case pertaining to the allocation of ‘Brahmapuri coal block’ situated in Madhya Pradesh.
Special CBI judge Bharat Parashar while passing Judgement clearly mentioned that prosecution has been miserably failed in proving any of the charges — either for the offence of criminal conspiracy under Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) or for the offence of criminal misconduct, the offence of criminal breach of trust by a public servant under Section 409 of the IPC.
“So, I hereby acquit both accused — PSMPL & Gupta — in the present case of all offences,” the judge said.
Advocate Rajat Mathur, appearing for accused Gupta, had denied the allegations & had claimed that the case of the CBI was false.
The probe agency had alleged that the company got a mining lease on the basis of a recommendation from the State Govt. despite having no experience & lacking enough capital required for starting mining operations.
The company was allotted Brahmapuri coal block on the recommendation by the Screening Committee for its proposed Sponge Iron End-Use Project.
Gupta, who was the Coal Secretary from Dec 31, 2005 to Nov 2008, & PSMPL.

The allocation of Brahmapuri coal block was done on the basis of allegedly false information that the firm possessed an iron ore mining lease when it had none, CBI claimed.

It had said, “It was further alleged the company did not have any experience in steel manufacturing & the net worth of the group companies was around Rs 3.01 crores, which was insignificant”.

Court convicts Gondwana Ispat, director: Coal scam

A special court here today held Gondwana Ispat Ltd and its director guilty of cheating and criminal conspiracy to get a coal block in Maharashtra allocated to it.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar, who was appointed exclusively to deal with the coal scam cases, directed that the firm’s director Ashok Daga be taken into custody.

The firm and its director were earlier summoned as accused for misrepresenting facts to get Majra coal block in Maharashtra allocated to it.

Daga and the firm have been convicted under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the IPC and also for the substantive offence under section 420 of the IPC.

The court has put the case for hearing on quantum of sentence at 2 pm today.

The firm was allocated the Majra coal block in 2003 and an FIR was lodged against it in 2014.

Coal scam: Supply documents to Jindal and others

A special court on Monday directed the CBI to hand over some documents filed along with the charge sheet to industrialist Naveen Jindal and others in a coal scam case against them.Special Judge Bharat Parashar passed the direction after the accused informed the court that they had not received certain papers which the agency had filed with its final report.

The court, which was hearing a matter pertaining to the allocation of the Urtan North coal block in Madhya Pradesh where the offences of “cheating” and “criminal conspiracy” were “prima facie” made out against the accused, posted the matter for further hearing on March 12.Besides Jindal, the other accused in the case include Jindal Steel and Power Ltd’s (JSPL) former Director Sushil Maroo, former Deputy MD Anand Goyal and CEO Vikrant Gujral.Jindal is named as accused, along with former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao and ex-Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, in another case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand.

According to the CBI charge sheet in this case, the accused had misrepresented facts in its January 2007 application before the Screening Committee, responsible for recommending coal block allocation, for obtaining the Madhya Pradesh coal block and hence cheated the Coal Ministry to get wrongful gains.The ministry had issued the allocation letter to the firm in October 2009.The probe agency has named 64 people as prosecution witnesses to prove its case besides annexing 60 documents in its charge sheet.The charge sheet has said that in the feedback form, the firm misrepresented or made false claims on two counts — that it had already acquired 964 acres of land for its Jharkhand- based Patratu project and that it had placed orders for equipment for its Orissa-based Angul project for Rs 4,340 crore.

Coal scam: HC stays sentence, Rs 25L fine on Madhu Koda

The Delhi High Court today stayed a trial court order awarding three-year jail term to former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda in a coal scam case till January 22, by when it has also sought response of the CBI on his appeal challenging the conviction and sentence.

Justice Anu Malhotra also stayed the order imposing a fine of Rs 25 lakh on Koda, who was present in the court, and granted him interim bail till the next date of hearing this month with a direction that he will not leave the country.

The order came on Koda’s plea seeking suspension of sentence and regular bail till pendency of his appeal before the high court.

Koda, who was held guilty of corruption and conspiracy in allocation of a Jharkhand-based coal block to Kolkata-based company Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL), also challenged the December 13 and 16, 2017 orders of conviction and sentence respectively, which was admitted by the high court.

The former chief minister was granted bail by a trial court till January 18.

In his appeal, Koda said the trial court order holding him guilty was bad in law.

The appeal and stay on the fine was opposed by CBI counsel Tarannum Cheema. The agency, however, did not oppose interim bail granted to Koda till January 22.

The high court had on December 22, 2017 stayed a trial court order imposing a fine of Rs 50 lakh on VISUL in the case till the next date of hearing.

The high court on December 20 had sought response of the CBI on an appeal by Koda’s close aide Vijay Joshi against the trial court’s order awarding him three years jail term in the coal scam case.

All the pleas filed so far in connection with this matter will be heard on January 22.

Koda, ex-coal secretary H C Gupta, A K Basu, former Jharkhand chief secretary, and Joshi were awarded jail terms of three years for indulging in corrupt practices and hatching a criminal conspiracy in the allocation of Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to the Kolkata-based company.

While sentencing the convicts, the special court had said “white collar crimes” were more “dangerous” to the society than ordinary crimes.

It had imposed fines of Rs 50 lakh, Rs 25 lakh and Rs 1 lakh on VISUL, Koda and Gupta respectively in the UPA-era coal scam. Rs one lakh fine was also imposed on Basu.

The convicts were granted statutory bail for a period of two months to enable them to file appeals in the Delhi High Court.

So far, four out of 30 coal block allocation scam cases have been decided by the special court, including this order, and 12 people and four companies have been held guilty.

The convicts were tried for offences 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.

While the offence of cheating carries a maximum punishment of seven years jail term, criminal breach of trust by public servants entails a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.

The CBI had said that the firm had applied for allocation of Rajhara North coal block on January 8, 2007.

It had said that although the Jharkhand government and the steel ministry did not recommend VISUL’s case for coal block allocation, the 36th Screening Committee recommended the block to the accused firm.

The CBI had said that Gupta, who was chairman of the screening committee, had concealed facts from then prime minister Manmohan Singh, who at that time headed the coal ministry too, that Jharkhand had not recommended VISUL for allocation of a coal block.

Source : PTI

Coalscam: Docs supplied to Jindal and others, CBI tells court

Coalscam: Docs supplied to Jindal and others, CBI tells court
Coalscam: Docs supplied to Jindal and others, CBI tells court

The CBI today told a special court that it has handed over various documents filed along with the charge sheet to industrialist Naveen Jindal and others in a coal scam case against them regarding the allocation of a coal block in Madhya Pradesh.

Special Judge Bharat Parashar was hearing a matter pertaining to the allocation of the Urtan North coal block where the offences of “cheating” and “criminal conspiracy” were “prima facie” made out against the accused.

The court, which had on September 4 granted bail to the accused, put up the matter for further hearing on December 21.

Besides Jindal, others who had got the relief include Jindal Steel and Power Ltd’s (JSPL) former Director Sushil Maroo, former Deputy MD Anand Goyal and CEO Vikrant Gujral.

Jindal is named as accused, along with former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao and ex-Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, in another case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand.

According to the CBI’s charge sheet, the accused had misrepresented facts in its January 2007 application before the Screening Committee, responsible for recommendation of the coal block allocation, for obtaining the MP coal block and hence cheated the Coal Ministry to get wrongful gains.

The ministry had issued the allocation letter to the firm in October 2009.

The probe agency has named 64 persons as prosecution witnesses to prove its case besides annexing 60 documents in its charge sheet.

The charge sheet has said that in the feedback form, the firm misrepresented or made false claims on two counts — that it had already acquired 964 acres of land for its Jharkhand- based Patratu project and that it had placed orders for equipment for its Orissa-based Angul project for Rs 4,340 crore.

( Source – PTI )

Coal scam: Court grants bail to ex-Coal Secretary, others

Coal scam: Court grants bail to ex-Coal Secretary, others
Coal scam: Court grants bail to ex-Coal Secretary, others

Former Coal Secretary H C Gupta was today granted bail by a special court here in connection with a case related to alleged irregularities in allocation of a Chhattisgarh-based coal block to SKS Ispat and Power Ltd (SIPL).

Besides Gupta, who is already facing prosecution in over seven cases related to the coal scam, the court also granted the relief to senior public servant K S Kropha, firm’s two directors Anil Gupta and Deepak Gupta, and three others — Amit Singh, Rakesh Singh and Jagan Nath Panda — in the case

All the seven accused persons were granted the bail on a personal bond of Rs one lakh and one surety of like amount.

The accused persons and the firm were summoned by the court for allegedly misrepresenting the facts before the Screening Committee in relation to the land and net worth of company.

( Source – PTI )

Coal scam:SC verdict tomorrow on report indicting ex-CBI chief

Coal scam:SC verdict tomorrow on report indicting ex-CBI chief
Coal scam:SC verdict tomorrow on report indicting ex-CBI chief

The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce its order tomorrow on the action to be taken on a report of its panel which has held that prima facie there was an attempt to influence investigation in the coal block allocation scam cases by former CBI Director Ranjit Sinha.

A special bench headed by Justice M B Lokur is slated to pronounce the verdict.

The apex court had on July 12 last year had reserved the order on the issue after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the bench that the panel headed by former CBI special director M L Sharma has held that Sinha’s meetings with some high- profile accused in the scam, prima facie indicated that there was an attempt to influence the investigation.

Rohtagi, who had only received an initial report of the panel for perusal on condition of confidentiality, had said he had gone through the report which has found that the visitors’ diary at Sinha’s residence was genuine.

However, he had said the correctness of entries in that diary can only be ascertained in the court through evidence.

The apex court-appointed panel was probing the alleged scuttling of probe into coal block allocation scam cases by Sinha, whose meetings with the accused persons were held as “completely inappropriate”.

Earlier, the court had given the initial report of the Sharma committee to the Attorney General for his perusal, as the bench wanted his assistance after the panel had sought a direction for supply of documents relating to preliminary enquiry into some of the matters in which the probe was closed.

On December 7, 2015, the court had ordered handing over the original visitors’ diary of the official residence of the former CBI director to the Sharma-led panel.

( Source – PTI )

Coal scam: Final arguments against ex-Coal Secy over

Coalscam: Final arguments against ex-Coal Secy over
Coalscam: Final arguments against ex-Coal Secy over

The final arguments 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, was concluded today before a special court.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar concluded hearing the arguments in a case filed against 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.

The court has now put up the matter for further hearing on December 22 in the case.

Kropha was the then Joint Secretary in Ministry of Coal, while Samria was the then Director (Coal Allocation-I) section in ministry. This is first coal scam case involving any public servant in which the final arguments have been completed.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Thesgora-B Rudrapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh to KSSPL.

During the hearing, the CBI 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 charged that the firm had misrepresented about its net worth and existing capacity, adding that the 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 imposed on him on the issue of coal block allocation.

( Source – PTI )

Coal scam: Court lets Naveen Jindal travel abroad

Coal scam: Court lets Naveen Jindal travel abroad
Coal scam: Court lets Naveen Jindal travel abroad

Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal, an accused in a coal block allocation scam case along with 14 others, has been allowed by a special court to travel abroad for business purposes.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar allowed the plea filed by Jindal seeking the court’s permission to visit Oman, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East, Europe including Italy, London, and the US till November 30 and imposed certain conditions on him.

Jindal has been asked to inform the investigating officer and the court about his arrival in India within seven days of his return mentioning the details of places visited by him.

“He shall not tamper with the evidence nor try to influence any witness in any manner and will not use the permission granted to him contrary to the rules,” the court said while imposing conditions.

CBI, however, had opposed Jindal’s plea, saying that it may result in delay of trial and there were chances that he may not return to India.

Jindal was earlier granted bail by the court which had imposed several conditions, including that he will not leave the country without the court’s nod.

Apart from Jindal, CBI had chargesheeted ex-Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao, ex-Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, former Coal Secretary H C Gupta and 11 others in the case of alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand to Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Private Ltd (GSIPL).

The other individual accused are — Rajeev Jain, Director of Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, Girish Kumar Suneja and Radha Krishna Saraf, GSIPL Directors, K Ramakrishna Prasad, MD of Sowbhagya Media Ltd, and chartered accountant Gyan Swaroop Garg. All the accused are currently out on bail.

Besides the nine accused, five firms — JSPL, Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, Gagan Infraenergy Ltd (formerly known as GSIPL), Sowbhagya Media Ltd and New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd — are also accused in the case.

( Source – PTI )

Coal scam:Court frames charges against Ex-MP Vijay Darda, ors

Coal scam:Court frames charges against Ex-MP Vijay Darda, ors
Coal scam:Court frames charges against Ex-MP Vijay Darda, ors

Former Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda, ex-Coal Secretary H C Gupta and five others were today put on trial by a special court in a coal scam case relating to alleged irregularities in the allocation of a coal block in Chhattisgarh.

The court also framed charges against two senior public servants K S Kropha and K C Samria, M/s JLD Yavatmal Energy Pvt Ltd, its Director Manoj Kumar Jayaswal and Vijay Darda’s son Devendra Darda after they pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.

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

The court has fixed December 16 for admission and denial of documents.

The court had on August 20 last year granted bail to the accused who had appeared before it following summons.

It had on November 20, 2014, refused to accept CBI’s closure report in the case and directed it to conduct further probe the matter, stating that the former MP had “misrepresented” facts in letters written to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who then held the Coal portfolio.

The court had said that Darda, the Chairman of Lokmat Group, had done so to get the Fatehpur (East) coal block in Chhattisgarh allotted to JLD Yavatmal Energy Pvt Ltd.

It had said that “prima facie” offence of cheating was committed by private parties in “furtherance of conspiracy” hatched between them and the public servants.

JLD Yavatmal Energy Pvt Ltd was allotted Fatehpur (East) coal block by the 35th Screening Committee.

CBI had earlier alleged in its FIR that JLD Yavatmal had wrongfully concealed previous allocation of four coal blocks to its group companies in 1999-2005, but later filed a closure report saying no undue benefit was given to JLD Yavatmal by the Coal Ministry in allocation of coal blocks to it.

It had said that nothing substantial has emerged to establish cheating and criminal conspiracy among officials of the Ministry of Coal and JLD Yavatmal Energy Ltd’s directors.

All the accused had denied the allegations against them.

( Source – PTI )