A special CBI court in Delhi on Friday convicted former coal secretary H C Gupta in a coal scam case. Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar also convicted the then joint secretary of coal ministry K S Kropha and then director K C Samaria, besides others in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in the allocation of Thesgora-B Rudrapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh to KSSPL.
Gupta was the chairperson of a screening committee responsible for coal block allocations from 2006 to 2008 under the Congress-led UPA rule. He was accused of not following a transparent auctioning system and causing losses running into crores to the exchequer.
The court will pronounce the order on quantum of sentence on 22 May. The court, however, acquitted chartered accountant Amit Goyal in the case.
Besides Gupta, Kropha and Samria, the court also convicted the firm KSSPL and its managing director Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia. Kropha was the then joint secretary in the Ministry of Coal, while Samria was the then director (coal allocation-I) in the ministry.
During the hearing, the CBI had alleged that the application filed by KSSPL for the coal block was incomplete and was supposed to be rejected by the ministry as it was not in accordance with the guidelines issued.
The CBI had charged that the firm had misrepresented its net worth and existing capacity, adding that state government had also not recommended the firm for the allocation of any coal block.
The accused, however, denied the allegations during the arguments.
The court had in October last year framed charges against the accused observing that former prime minister Manmohan Singh was kept in the "dark" by Gupta, who had prima facie violated the law and the trust reposed in him on the issue of coal block allocation.
Around eight different charge sheets have been filed against Gupta and proceedings are going on individually. The Supreme Court had recently dismissed his plea seeking joint trial in all these cases.