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Ex-secretary gets bail in coal block allotment case

Source: PTI
February 07, 2017 11:57 IST
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Former coal secretary H C Gupta was on Tuesday granted bail by a special court New Delhi in connection with a case related to alleged irregularities in the allocation of a Chhattisgarh-based coal block to SKS Ispat and Power Ltd.

Besides Gupta, who is already facing prosecution in over seven cases related to the coal scam, the court also granted relief to senior public servant K S Kropha, the 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 1 lakh and one surety of a 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.

The court has now put up the matter for further proceedings on March 23.

It had summoned the accused after taking cognisance of the CBI chargesheet in which the investigating agency had claimed that the accused hatched a criminal conspiracy to cheat the screening committee, in order to bag the mining contract for Fatehpur Coal Block in Chhattisgarh.

The probe agency has charged the accused with forgery, cheating, criminal conspiracy and criminal misconduct.

According to the CBI, SIPL had got the Fatehpur coal block in Chhattisgarh in 2008. It said the company misrepresented the aspects of preparedness and was ineligible on the issue of its net worth. The CBI had registered an FIR in the matter in 2014.

In a surprising move, the former coal secretary had, on August 16 last year, told the court that he intended to "face trial from inside the jail" and withdraw his personal bond to secure bail due to financial difficulties. However, he later withdrew his plea.

Around eight different chargesheets have already been filed against Gupta and the proceedings are going on separately. The Supreme Court had recently dismissed his plea seeking joint trial in all these cases.

Some of the cases in which Gupta was summoned as an accused by the court include those relating to alleged irregularities in the allocation of the Thesgora-B Rudrapuri coal block to Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd (KSSPL) and the allocation of Moira and Madhujore (North and South) coal blocks in West Bengal's Raniganj area to Vikash Metal and Power Ltd.

He is also an accused in a case of alleged irregularities in the allotment of the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to two companies of the Jindal Group and the allocation of the Brahmapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh to Pushp Steels and Mining Pvt Limited. 

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