A special court on Monday pronounced Jharkhand Ispat Pvt Ltd (JIPL) and its two directors RS Rungta and RC Rungta guilty in a case of allotment of a coal block in Jharkhand. This is the first judgement in the coal scam by the special court.
The Supreme Court had set up the special court in July 2014 to exclusively deal with coal scam related cases and appointed senior advocate R.S. Cheema as Special Public Prosecutor for the trial.
The judgement was given out by special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar.
The case involves JIPL and its directors R S Rungta and R C Rungta who are accused of acquiring the coal block allegedly on the basis of false and forged documents.
The court had on March 21 last year framed charges against them for the alleged offences punishable under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating) and 471 (using a forged document as genuine) of IPC.
All the accused had pleaded not guilty and claimed trial, while refuting the allegations levelled against them by CBI.
On December 23 last year, the court had dismissed R S Rungta's plea to summon former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and ex-Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao as defence witnesses in the case.
The court had granted Rungtas bail on January 14 last year on a personal bond of Rs one lakh each and with one surety of the like amount.
In its charge sheet, CBI had alleged that during the probe, it was found that JIPL had "grossly misrepresented" a number of aspects before Ministry of Steel (MoS) and Ministry of Coal (MoC) to inflate their claim and thereby induced the MoC officers and the screening committee to allocate the coal block to them.
CBI alleged that JIPL along with three other firms, M/s Electro Steel Casting Ltd, M/s Adhunik Alloys and Power Ltd and M/s Pawanjay Steel and Power Ltd, was jointly allocated North Dhadu coal block by 27th and 30th screening committee.
CBI had alleged that no efforts were made either by the screening committee to verify the claims made by the applicant firm and that MoS also did not develop any methodology for assessment of the applicant companies.
It had claimed that some records of MoC relating to the case were stated to be missing and a separate preliminary enquiry has been registered by CBI.