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Coal Scam: Bail for ex-coal secy Gupta, others after jail term sentence

New Delhi: Bail was granted to Coal Ministry ex-Secretary H.C. Gupta and two other officials K.S. Kropha and K.C. Smaria, soon after a Special Court on Monday sentenced them to two years in jail in the coal block allocation case involving Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd (KSSPL).

Bail was granted to them on personal bond of Rs. One lakh and one lakh surety amount.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special Judge Bharat Parashar had awarded two years jail terms to the accused and imposed a fine of Rs one lakh each.

KSSPL’s Managing Director Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia was awarded three years jail and slapped with a fine of Rs 30 lakh.

They were convicted for criminal conspiracy and cheating under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI had lodged an FIR accusing the company and others of allegedly misrepresenting facts, including inflated net worth, to acquire the coal block.

Earlier on Friday, a Delhi court found Gupta, Kropha, KSSPL and its Managing Director (MD) P.K. Ahluwalia guilty of criminal conspiracy in connection with alleged irregularities in allocation of a Chhattisgarh based coal block to SKS Ispat and Power Ltd (SIPL).

They were also found guilty of cheating and corruption for their role in allocation of Rudrapur coal block to KSSPL in Madhya Pradesh.

However, Chartered Account Amit Goyal, who was also facing trial in the case, got acquitted from all charges by the court.

Earlier in February, the special CBI court granted bail to Gupta, Kropha, the firm, and its two directors Anil Gupta and Deepak Gupta, and three others — Amit Singh, Rakesh Singh and Jagan Nath Panda.

The court had asked all of them to sign Rs. one lakh personal bail bond and deposit Rs. one lakh as security amount.

The CBI has claimed in the final report that the accused hatched a criminal conspiracy to cheat the Screening Committee, in order to bag the mining contract for the Fatehpur Coal Block in Chattisgarh.

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

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