Coal Scam Case: Delhi HC Seeks CBI's Reply On Former Steel Ministry Official's Appeal

(MENAFN- IANS) New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Friday sought the CBI's reply on an appeal by former Executive Secretary, Joint plant Committee, Ministry of Steel, against the trial court order convicting him and sentencing him to a three year jail term in a coal scam case related to alleged irregularities in the allocation of a coal block in Chhattisgarh.

Justice Amit Sharma was hearing Gautam Kumar Basak's appeal challenging Special Judge Arun Bhardwaj's order, which had found him guilty of corruption in the allocation of the Vijay Central Coal Block.

The court issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and granted interim suspension of the sentence of Basak till December 15.

A Delhi court on August 22 sentenced Basak to three-year jail term and also imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on him.

In the 14th sentence in the coal scam, the prosecution alleged that the Prakash Industries Ltd, which had applied for the coal block in January 2007, had furnished false information about its capacity.

The Ministry had directed Basak to ascertain the truth of the allegation and he, according to the prosecution, submitted a false report in 2008 supporting the claims made by the company.

The company and its director were earlier discharged by the High Court in the case.

The CBI was represented by its Deputy Legal Advisor Sanjay Kumar in the trial court.

Former Coal Secretary H.C. Gupta and former IAS officer K.S. Kropha had also appealed in the high court against their conviction and jail terms.

A bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma had issued notice and had said that both the appellants will remain out on bail till the matter stands disposed of.

The judge had said that the appeals will be listed in due course along with the appeals moved by the other convicts - former Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda, his son Devender Darda, and JLD Yavatmal Energy Pvt Ltd's Director Manoj Kumar Jayaswal.

On July 28, the high court granted interim bail to the Dardas and Jayaswal, who were handed four-year jail terms. The Delhi court had awarded four-year jail terms to them while Gupta, Kropha and K.C. Samaria were handed a three-year imprisonment.

On November 20, 2014, the court had rejected the closure report submitted by the CBI in this case. The court had directed the probe agency to initiate a fresh investigation, citing that the former MP Darda had "misrepresented" facts in letters addressed to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who also held the Coal portfolio.





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