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HC Gupta given 2-yr jail term by CBI court
A special CBI court on Monday sentenced former Union Coal Secretary HC Gupta to two years in jail in the coal scam case. The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Thesgora-B Rudrapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh to Krishnapatnam Security Services Pvt Ltd (KSSPL).
Last week, special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar also convicted the Coal Ministry's then Joint Secretary KS Kropha and then Director KC Samaria besides others in the case.
Kropha was the then Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Coal, while Samria was the then director (coal allocation-I) in the Ministry.
Besides Gupta, Kropha and Samria, the court also convicted the firm KSSPL and its managing director Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia. The court, however, acquitted chartered accountant Amit Goyal in the case.
During the hearing, the CBI had alleged that the application filed by KSSPL for the coal block was incomplete and was supposed to be rejected by the Ministry as it was not in accordance with the guidelines issued.
The CBI had charged that the firm had misrepresented its net worth and existing capacity, adding that State Government had also not recommended the firm for the allocation of any coal block.
Gupta in his defence had said that it was then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, under whom the Coal Ministry was, gave his approval for the coal block allocation in question.
However, the investigating agency CBI rejected the charges of Gupta, was booked in as many as eight cases while saying that the then PM was kept in the dark and misled.
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.
It may be recalled that HC Gupta, who was Coal Secretary for two years under the Congress-led UPA Government before he retired in 2008, chaired a screening committee that cleared at least 40 cases of coal mining rights.
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