NEW DELHI: A special court in Delhi today held former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, former Coal Secretary HC Gupta guilty of corruption in the Jharkhand coal scam case related to alleged irregularities in the allocation of the Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to Kolkata-based Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL). The special CBI court will hear arguments on the quantum of punishment tomorrow.
Besides 46-year-old Koda, Mr Gupta and the firm, the other accused in the case included former Jharkhand Chief Secretary AK Basu, two public servants, VISUL’s director, Koda’s alleged close aide Vijay Joshi and a chartered accountant.
The court, however, acquitted VISUL’s director Vaibhav Tulsyan and public servants Basant Kumar Bhattacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh and chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan of all charges.
During arguments, the CBI alleged that the firm had applied for allocation of Rajhara North coal block on January 8, 2007. It said although the Jharkhand government and 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 that Mr Gupta, who was the chairman of the screening committee, had allegedly concealed facts from then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who then headed the Coal Ministry too, that Jharkhand had not recommended VISUL for allocation of a coal block.
Mr Koda, Mr Basu and two accused public servants conspired to favour VISUL in the coal block allocation, the agency added. The accused had refuted the allegations.