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

Former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda convicted in coal scam case

Former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda convicted in coal scam case
Former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda convicted in coal scam case

A special court today held former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda and ex-coal secretary H C Gupta guilty of corruption and other charges in a coal scam case.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar held Koda, Gupta and other accused persons, including ex-Jharkhand chief secretary A K Basu and private company Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL), guilty of varying offences including criminal conspiracy in the case pertaining to irregularities in allocation of Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to the Kolkata-based VISUL.

The court will hear argument on quantum of punishment tomorrow.

It, however, acquitted four persons VISUL’s Director Vaibhav Tulsyan and two public servants Basant Kumar Bhattacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh and chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan of all charges.

All were earlier summoned as accused after the court took cognisance of alleged offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servants) of IPC and under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

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

It said although the Jharkhand government and 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 said that Gupta, who was chairman of the screening committee, had allegedly concealed facts from then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who then headed the Coal Ministry too, that Jharkhand had not recommended VISUL for allocation of a coal block.

Koda, Basu and two accused public servants conspired to favour VISUL in the coal block allocation, the agency had alleged.

The accused have refuted the allegations levelled against them.

( Source – PTI )

Court to pronounce verdict on Dec 13 in coal case agst Koda

Court to pronounce verdict on Dec 13 in coal case agst Koda
Court to pronounce verdict on Dec 13 in coal case agst Koda

A special court will pronounce on December 13 its verdict in a coal scam case against former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, ex-Coal Secretary H C Gupta and others.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar has directed all the accused to remain present before court on the date of judgement in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to Kolkata-based Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL).

Besides Koda, Gupta and the firm, the other accused in the case include ex-Jharkhand Chief Secretary A K Basu, two public servants — Basant Kumar Bhattacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh, VISUL’s Director Vaibhav Tulsyan, Koda’s alleged close aide Vijay Joshi and chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan.

The eight accused persons were earlier granted bail by the court after they had appeared before it in pursuance to the summons issued against them.

They were summoned as accused after the court took cognisance of alleged offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servants) of IPC and under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

During arguments, the CBI alleged that the firm had applied for allocation of Rajhara North coal block on January 8, 2007.

It said although the Jharkhand government and 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 said that Gupta, who was chairman of the screening committee, had allegedly concealed facts from then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who then headed the Coal Ministry too, that Jharkhand had not recommended VISUL for allocation of a coal block.

Koda, Basu and two accused public servants conspired to favour VISUL in the coal block allocation, the agency added.

The accused have refuted the allegations levelled against them.

( Source – PTI )

Coal scam: Court dismisses plea to summon ex-PM

Coal scam: Court dismisses plea to summon ex-PM
Coal scam: Court dismisses plea to summon ex-PM

The Special court on Friday dismissed ex-Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda’s plea seeking summoning of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as accused in a coal scam case.

Koda had on August 17, moved an application seeking to summon Singh as an accused along with Anand Swaroop, the then Secretary (Energy), and Jai Shankar Tiwari, the then Secretary(Mines and Geology), contending that CBI’s theory of conspiracy remains incomplete without the involvement of the then Prime Minister who was also holding the portfolio of Coal Minister.

Koda’s counsel had argued in the court that the then Prime Minister was “aware of everything” in the process of allocating a coal block to Naveen Jindal group firm and if there was any conspiracy to allocate the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand, it could not have been without the knowledge of Singh who was also the then coal minister.

Koda, had said if there was any conspiracy to allocate the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand to Jindal group firm, it could not have been without the knowledge of the then Prime Minister who was also the coal minister at that time.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand to two Jindal group companies, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd (GSIPL). Koda, Jindal and 13 others were chargesheeted by the CBI in the case earlier.

Referring to the facts of the case and a Delhi High Court verdict, Koda said in his plea “it is clear that Dr Manmohan Singh as Coal Minister has allotted the coal block without public interest and there is sufficient evidence on record warranting this court to summon him for facing trial” if CBI’s contention was accepted that the allotment was illegal.

( Source – PTI )

Court to hear Koda’s plea seeking summoning of ex-PM on Sep 2

Court to hear Koda's plea seeking summoning of ex-PM on Sep 2
Court to hear Koda’s plea seeking summoning of ex-PM on Sep 2

Ex-Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda’s plea seeking summoning of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and two others as additional accused in a coal scam case will be heard on September 2, a Special Court today said.

Former MP Naveen Jindal and others were earlier chargesheeted by CBI in the case.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar also posted the matter for arguments on framing of charges in the case from October 5 to October 8 after all the accused said that scrutiny of documents filed along with the charge sheet was complete.

During the hearing, the counsel appearing for former Coal Secretary H C Gupta also moved an application seeking dropping of proceedings against him on account of lack of sanction to try him for the alleged offences in the case.

The court fixed Gupta’s application for hearing on September 3.

As soon as the proceedings commenced, Gupta’s counsel moved the application, saying it should be heard before arguments on framing of charges as the matter involves legal issues.

Koda’s counsel also said that his plea for summoning the former Prime Minister, who was also the Coal Minister at that time, and two others as additional accused in the case, should be heard before the stage of arguments on framing of charges.

Initially the court asked both the defence counsel that they can advance their arguments on their respective pleas simultaneously with the arguments on charges but the advocates said that their matters should be heard first.

“In view of the submissions made by the defence counsel, the matter is now adjourned for arguments on applications moved by accused no 8 (Koda) and 9 (Gupta) for September 2 and 3 and the matter thereafter be fixed for arguments on framing of charges from October 5 to 8,” the judge said.

Jindal, Koda, Gupta and 12 others were chargesheeted by CBI in a case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand to two Jindal group companies, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Private Ltd (GSIPL).

Coal scam: Koda seeks summoning of Manmohan Singh

Coal scam: Koda seeks summoning of Manmohan Singh
Coal scam: Koda seeks summoning of Manmohan Singh

Former Chief Minister of Jharkhand Madhu Koda on Monday moved an application in a special court, seeking summoning of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as an accused in a coal scam case.

The fresh application by Koda comes months after the Supreme Court stayed the summons issued by a special CBI court. The CBI had summoned Singh and five others, including industrialist Kumar Manglam Birla, former coal secretary PC Parakh, D Bhattacharya and Hindalco, on 8 April in connection with the Talabira-II coal block allocation scam case.

Along with Singh, the apex court stayed the summons of five others as well. The 1 April verdict of the SC also put on hold all proceedings in the special CBI court against the six accused.

Singh and five others were summoned by the special CBI court for allegedly showing ‘undue interest’ while facilitating allocation of Talabira-II coal block in Orissa to Aditya Birla Group’s Hindalco in 2005, when Singh was the prime minister and was also handling the portfolio of coal minister under UPA-II rule.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal, arguing for Singh, had claimed before the SC that the summon was issued as an act of political vendetta by the NDA government.

Coal scam: Madhu Koda, eight others put on trial

Coal scam: Madhu Koda, eight others put on trial
Coal scam: Madhu Koda, eight others put on trial

Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, former Coal Secretary H C Gupta and seven others were today put on trial by a special court here in connection with a case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of a coal block.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parasar also framed charges against former Jharkhand Chief Secretary A K Basu, two public servants — Basant Kumar Bhattacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh — Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL), its director Vaibhav Tulsyan, Koda’s alleged close aide Vijay Joshi and chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan in the case.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Rajhara North (Central and Eastern) coal block in Jharkhand to VISUL.

All these accused did not plead guilty to the charge framed against them and claimed trial after which the court fixed the matter for August 17 for admission/denial of documents by them.

“Separate charges against various accused persons have been framed. All the accused persons did not plead guilty and claimed trial,” the court said.

The court had ordered to put these accused on trial for the alleged offence of Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.

The court said Gupta also prima facie committed offence under Section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) of the IPC, while Vaibhav Tulsyan, Joshi and VISUL prima facie committed offence of cheating under Section 420 of the IPC.

The charges under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act were framed against five public servants — Koda, Gupta, Basu, Singh and Bhattacharya.

On July 14, the court had ordered to put these accused on trial noting that various acts of omission and commission committed by the accused prima facie made it clear that they had conspired with a “sole objective” to accommodate VISUL in Rajhara North (Central and Eastern) coal block in Jharkhand.

CBI, in its charge sheet, had said that VISUL had applied for allocation of Rajhara North coal block on January 8, 2007 to the Ministry of Coal.

CBI had alleged that although the Jharkhand Government and the Steel Ministry did not recommend VISUL’s case for the coal block allocation, the 36th Screening Committee recommended the block to the accused firm.

Koda gets bail, set to leave prison

5The Jharkhand High Court Tuesday granted bail to former chief minister Madhu Koda in a graft case related to a rural electrification contract, paving the way for him to step out of jail after three years and eight months.
The court while granting bail to Koda in the rural electrification scam, linked to alleged wrongdoings in the award of contracts, asked him to submit his passport and give two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each, the former chief minister’s lawyer Biswajeet Mukherjee told reporters.

 Koda is in jail since November 2009 in various cases of corruption. He was earlier given bail in four other cases, including the Rs 2,500 crore money laundering scam.

He was the chief minister from September 2006 to August 2008 and all the five corruption cases are related to that period.

“Koda has been granted bail in all the five cases. In rural electrification scam, he was granted bail as the CBI was yet to file the charge sheet,” he said.

Koda is also at the centre of the Rs.2,500 crore money laundering scam. In 2009, the Income Tax department and the Enforcement Directorate conducted searches at 69 places, including houses of Koda, to unearch various scams and corruption cases.
(Source: IANS )

Koda gets provisional bail for one week

Provisional bail has granted to former chief minister Madhu Koda by the Jharkhand High court.

Koda who is a scam accused has got the provisional bail for a week to attend his ailing mother.

Hearing on the provisional bail petition, Justice H C Mishra granted bail with a direction that he should surrender to a lower court on the eighth day from his release from the judicial custody.

This is the second provisional bail granted to Koda in a month to attend his ailing mother, who is under treatment at a Noida-based hospital.

The court had on April 15 gave him provisional bail for three weeks and accordingly Koda had surrendered to a special CBI court on May 10.

The Lok Sabha member was arrested on November 30, 2009, in connection with multi-crore money laundering, illegal investments and other scams.

Koda has got bail in all other cases except in the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Scheme scam.

Delhi High Court upholds poll panel’s order on Koda

The Delhi High Court on Friday upheld the Election Commission’s order that issued notice to former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda regarding his disqualification for producing fudged election expenses.

 

“(The) Election Commission has correctly appreciated and understood the law laid down therein and therefore, we concur with what the Election Commission has expressed,” a division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said.

 

Rejecting Koda’s petition against the poll panel, the bench said: “The writ petition, being devoid of merit, stands dismissed.”

The Election Commission had issued notice to Koda in October 2010, asking him as to why he should not be disqualified on the ground that he had shown much lower election expenses than he had actually incurred.

 

The former chief minister had in his application to the high court stated that the Election Commission has no power to hold an inquiry and verify the correctness or the falsity of the return of election expenses already filed by him.

 

After being elected an MP from the tribal-dominated constituency of West Singhbhum in 2009, Koda had submitted accounts of his election expenses of over Rs 18 lakh to the district election office, which reported it to the Election Commission.

 

After 15 months, on Oct 10, 2010, the Election Commission issued a show cause notice, claiming that Koda failed to give his election expenses in the required format, without the necessary documents.