Three-year jail for Koda in coal scam

Court also imposes fine of Rs2.5m each on Koda and Joshi and a fine of Rs100,000 each on Gupta and Basu

New Delhi: A court here on Saturday sentenced former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda to three years in jail for corruption in a coal block allocation case.

Special Judge Bharat Parashar also sent Koda’s close aide Vijay Joshi, former Coal Secretary H.C. Gupta and Jharkhand’s then Chief Secretary A.K. Basu, to jail for three years.

It also imposed a fine of Rs2.5 million each on Koda and Joshi and a fine of Rs100,000 each on Gupta and Basu.

The court on December 13 had held Koda, Joshi, Gupta, Basu and private company Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL) guilty of criminal conspiracy and cheating under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The court imposed a fine of Rs5 million on VISUL.

The court’s order came in the case related to Jharkhand’s Rajhara North coal block allocation to VISUL.

The CBI has urged the court to award the maximum seven-year jail term to Koda and others after they were convicted in the case.

The agency said they were criminals holding high offices and considering their official position and conduct, there was no sufficient ground for leniency.

The convicts, however, have sought leniency from the court.

The judge had acquitted four persons — VISUL’s Director Vaibhav Tulsyan, two public servants Basant Kumar Bhattacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh, and Chartered Accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan — of all charges.

The CBI had alleged that Koda and others conspired to favour VISUL in getting the coal block.

The CBI had claimed that VISUL had applied for the allocation of Rajhara North coal block on January 8, 2007. Although the Jharkhand government and the Steel Ministry did not recommend its case, a Screening Committee recommended the block allocation to the firm.

The agency had said that Gupta, who was then Chairman of the Screening Committee, had allegedly concealed facts from then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had been heading the Coal Ministry as well, that Jharkhand had not recommended VISUL for allocation of the coal block.


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