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Coal Scam: Special Court convicts 5 including former Union Coal Secretary

The case is related to the irregularities in the allocation of Moira and Madhujore (North and South) coal blocks in West Bengal.

A Special Court in Delhi has convicted 5 individuals including former Union Coal Secretary H.C. Gupta for alleged irregularities in allocation of coal blocks in West Bengal.

The Court held them guilty for criminal conspiracy and has fixed the date of December 3 for argument on the quantum of sentence.

The case is related to the irregularities in the allocation of Moira and Madhujore (North and South) coal blocks in West Bengal. The contract was awarded to Vikas Metal Power Ltd.

Gupta has been embroiled in several cases. In December 2017, a special court had found Gupta and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda guilty of corruption and other offences by a special court.

The CBI reportedly wanted to close the case but the special judge Bharat Parashar, rejecting the closure report, ordered the five accused to be put on trial. Gupta has been convicted in several cases.

In previous years, despite the cases against him, the bureaucracy had come out strongly in support of Gupta. They had praised him for his “honesty and sincerity” and it claimed that he was being unfairly targeted.

The mega coal scam, known as Coalgate in Indian media had been a major embarrassment for the Manmohan Singh led UPA government. Huge irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks had come to light in 2012 when the CAG had stated that the government had sold leases for 200 coal fields at low prices to benefit a few and cost the ex-chequer the loss of about 1.86 lakh crores.

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