Jharkhand coal scam: Ex-coal secretary HC Gupta, 4 others to face trial

Ranchi [India], Dec. 7 : A Special CBI court on Wednesday ordered framing of charges against former coal secretary H.C. Gupta and four others in a case relating to irregularities in the allocation of a Jharkhand coal block to a private firm.

Gupta and four others, including two senior public servants, K S Kropha and K C Samria, was ordered to be put on trial by a special court on December 22.

The charges levelled against the accused under Sections 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Besides Gupta, Kropha and Samria, the court also directed that JAS Infrastructure Capital Pvt Ltd (JICPL) and its Director Manoj Kumar Jayaswal be put on trial.

The court had on July, last year issued summons to the accused after taking cognisance of the CBI's final report.

The court had earlier refused to accept the probe agency's closure report, filed in the case and had directed it to further investigate the matter.

It had noted that it was prima facie clear that officers of the Ministry of Coal or the screening committee had acted in a manner which was "detrimental" to public interest and that they had allowed JAS Infrastructure and Power Ltd (JIPL), now known as JICPL, to "misappropriate" nationalised natural resources.

The agency had earlier filed a closure report in the case in which it had lodged an FIR against the firm, Jayaswal and others for alleged irregularities committed by JIPL in acquiring the coal block.

The FIR was lodged on the allegation that the company had not disclosed to the Ministry of Coal that it was already in possession of a coal block.

Source: ANI