A special Central Bureau of Investigation court in New Delhi on Saturday sentenced former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda to three years imprisonment in the Rajhara North coal block allocation scam, PTI reported. The court imposed a fine of Rs 25 lakh on him.
It also imposed three-year jail terms on former Coal Secretary HC Gupta, former Jharkhand Chief Secretary Ashok Kumar Basu and Koda’s close aide Vijay Joshi. The court imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on Gupta.
The special CBI court has granted them statutory bail for two months to enable them to challenge their convictions in the High Court.
The court had declared Koda guilty of criminal conspiracy in the case on Wednesday. The case is related to the allocation of a coal block to the Kolkata-based Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd or Visul. The CBI had told the court that the Jharkhand government and steel ministry did not recommend the allocation of the Rajhara coal block to Visul when the company applied for it in 2007.
However, former Coal Secretary HC Gupta, who headed the Screening Committee, recommended that the block be allocated to Visul later, the CBI alleged. He also did not inform Manmohan Singh, who was then the prime minister, that Jharkhand had not recommended they allocate the block to Visul.
The CBI argued that Koda, Gupta and two accused public servants – Basant Kumar Bhattacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh – conspired to favour Visul in the allocation. The accused have denied the charges against them.