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Former Union Coal Secretary and Manmohan Singh aide HC Gupta given three-year jail term, charged 1 lakh fine in UPA-era coal scam

The special CBI court in Maharashtra had convicted Union Coal secretary HC Gupta and two others for criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating and corruption in the case related to the allocation of the Lohara East coal block on July 29

A special CBI court Monday awarded a three-year jail term to former Union Coal secretary HC Gupta in the coal scam case. It has also asked the UPA-era bureaucrat to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh. Besides, Special Judge Arun Bhardwaj also granted a jail term of two years and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on former Joint Secretary KS Kropha, a co-accused in the case.

The court, additionally, imposed a fine of 2 lakhs on Nagpur-based firm Grace Industries, and its Director and another accused in the case Mukesh Gupta was sentenced to four years imprisonment.

He was also fined Rs 2 lakhs.

Former Union Coal Secretary HC Gupta, who worked under Manmohan Singh convicted along with two others

The special CBI court in Maharashtra had convicted both for criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating and corruption in the case related to the allocation of the Lohara East coal block on July 29.

The CBI court of special judge Arun Bharadwaj found HC Gupta, KS Kropha and Mukesh Gupta guilty under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The sentences will be decided on August 22. The case was registered by the CBI in September 2012 under sections 120B r/w, 420 IPC r/w, 13(2) r/w, 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

Notably, in its initial charge sheet filed in October 2014, the CBI had named Mukesh Gupta and his Grace Industries Ltd. The court, however, asked the probe agency to continue further investigation into the matter to ascertain the role of senior government staffers in the allocation of coal blocks.

The CBI had reportedly found that Mukesh Gupta had obtained coal block allocations for Grace Industries Ltd through cheating and fraudulent documents and that his actions were aided and supported by senior government officials like HC Gupta and Kropha. The irregularities in allocation were reported between 2005-2011. CBI had also alleged that Mukesh Gupta had used false documents to show his company’s net worth as 120 crores while its actual net worth was just 3.3 crores.

In August 2014, the Supreme Court of India cancelled the entire allocation of coal blocks. During the hearing of the case, the special court had also observed that the conduct of officials from then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s office was not satisfactory.

A total of 34 witnesses were produced by the CBI in the case.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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