Ranchi: A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Wednesday found former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda guilty in a coal block allocation scam case. Former coal secretary HC Gupta, former Jharkhand chief secretary Ashok Kumar Basu was also found guilty by the court.
The argument on sentencing of the convicts will take place on Thursday. The case pertained to irregularities in allocation of Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to Kolkata-based Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL).
Besides Koda, Gupta and the firm, the other accused in the case included ex-Jharkhand Chief Secretary A K Basu, two public servants — Basant Kumar Bhattacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh, VISUL’s Director Vaibhav Tulsyan, Koda’s alleged close aide Vijay Joshi and chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan.
The eight accused persons were earlier granted bail by the court after they had appeared before it in pursuance to the summons issued against them.
During arguments, the CBI had alleged that the firm had applied for allocation of Rajhara North coal block on January 8, 2007.
It said although the Jharkhand government and Steel Ministry did not recommend VISUL’s case for coal block allocation, the 36th Screening Committee recommended the block to the accused firm.
The CBI said that Gupta, who was chairman of the screening committee, had allegedly concealed facts from then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who then headed the Coal Ministry too, that Jharkhand had not recommended VISUL for allocation of a coal block. Koda, Basu and two accused public servants conspired to favour VISUL in the coal block allocation, the agency added.