Former coal secretary HC Gupta, an accused in several coal block allocation cases, on Saturday withdrew a plea he had filed before a Central Bureau of Investigation Court asking to face trial from prison. Gupta had then claimed he could not afford to hire an attorney and thus did not want bail in the case. His decision on Saturday was seen as a sudden U-turn, after his move to not seek a lawyer raised eyebrows in legal and bureaucratic circles.

According to PTI, Gupta has now said he will continue with paying for legal representation, and the court subsequently allowed him to withdraw his original plea. The case in question pertains to the allocation of the Moira and Madhujore (North and South) coal blocks in West Bengal.

Gupta's refusal to take any legal help in the case had drawn attention from the Indian Administrative Services fraternity. Senior bureaucrats held a two-hour meeting to discuss the issue. After the meeting, which was attended by at least 60 senior officers, it was decided that the IAS association will reach out to the officer and help him with the case. According to NDTV, Gupta’s new decision might have been based on this outpouring of support.