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Ex-Union Coal Secy Convicted In Coal Scam Case

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By: Anand Singh
Updated: July 30, 2022 9:58
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NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Friday convicted former Coal Secretary HC Gupta, former Joint Secretary KS Kropha, Nagpur-based firm Grace Industries Limited and its director Mukesh Gupta after finding irregularities in the allocation of a Lohara East Coal block in Maharashtra.

The Court of a special judge Arun Bhardwaj convicted HC Gupta and others under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

During the investigation, it was revealed that Grace Industries Limited had secured an allocation of 16.14 million tonnes of coal reserves in the Lohara East coal block based on false information about net worth, capacity, equipment and status of procurement and installation of the plant.

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During the CBI probe, it was found that the company in its application claimed its net worth as ₹120 crores whereas its own net worth was ₹3.3 crores and falsified its existing capacity as 1,20,000 TPA against the actual project capacity of 30,000 TPA.

The company, in the feedback form, claimed two kilns in production and two kilns under installation whereas as of September 7, 2006, it had only one kiln in operation.

After the allocation of the coal block, Mukesh Gupta, director of the company sold the entire equity/share of his company to another person at a profit of about ₹20 crores.

It was found that 51 private companies had applied for the said coal block, however, criteria for Inter-se-priority were not followed to determine the most suitable company.

The Company had also submitted an incomplete application, which as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Coal was liable to be rejected.

The CBI had filed a charge sheet in October 2014 and the charges were framed in June 2016 against the accused. The Trial Court found the said four accused guilty, and acquitted two persons.

The CBI registered the case on September 20, 2012, related to the allocation of the Lohara East Coal block in Maharashtra.

In an order dated August 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of India cancelled the entire allocations of Coal Blocks. Vide order dated: January 19, 2015, Special Judge of the trial court had observed that the working of the officers of the Prime Minister’s office also does not appear to be above Board.

The Court will hear the arguments on the point of sentence on August 4.

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