Koda, Basu and two accused public servants conspired to favour VISUL in the coal block allocation, the CBI had alleged.
New Delhi: A special court on Wednesday held former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda and former Union 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 former Jharkhand chief secretary A.K. Basu and private firm Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL), guilty of varying offences, including criminal conspiracy, in the case pertaining to irregularities in the allocation of Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to Kolkata-based VISUL. The court will hear arguments on the quantum of punishment on Thursday.
It, however, acquitted four persons — VISUL director Vaibhav Tulsyan, 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 IPC Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servants) and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The CBI alleged the firm had applied for allocation of the Rajhara North coal block on January 8, 2007. It said although the Jharkhand government and the Union 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 Gupta, who was chairman of the screening committee, had allegedly concealed facts from then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who then headed the coal ministry, 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 CBI had alleged. The accused refuted the allegations levelled against them.