New Delhi: A special court today decided to pronounce its order on framing of charges in a coal block allocation scam case, in which former Coal Secretary H C Gupta and two others are accused, on February 19. The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Brahmapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh to accused firm Pushp Steels and Mining Pvt Ltd (PSMPL).
Besides Gupta, PSMPL and its Director Atul Jain are facing prosecution in the case for the alleged offences under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) of the IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. CBI had earlier alleged before Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar that Gupta had played an “active role” in the conspiracy to allocate the coal block to PSMPL and violated the guidelines of Ministry of Coal.
The agency had claimed that the screening committee, headed by Gupta, had recommended allocation of Brahmapuri coal block to PSMPL despite the fact that the state government as well as the Ministry of Steel had not recommended the firm for allocation of the block. Gupta and other two accused had denied the allegations levelled by CBI and had argued in the court that they had not conspired with each other to extend any benefit to the firm.
Jain had alleged in the court that the agency had put up disjointed facts to create a semblance of conspiracy which did not exist. The court had earlier granted bail to Gupta and Jain.It had summoned Gupta, PSMPL and Jain, as accused for their alleged involvement in the allocation of Brahmapuri coal block to the firm which resulted in loss.
According to the agency, PSMPL was allotted coal block on the recommendation by screening committee for its proposed Sponge Iron End Use Project in Durg district. An FIR was lodged against the firm and others in April 2013 and CBI had alleged that PSMPL had misrepresented facts while applying for the coal block.