Coal scam: HC Gupta gets bail shortly after CBI court sentences former coal secretary to three years in prison

A Delhi court on Wednesday granted bail to former coal secretary HC Gupta and two others in the coal block allocation scam. This was minutes after a special CBI court sentenced Gupta and the other convicts in the case to three years in jail. As the sentence awarded was less than seven years, the convicts were entitled to appeal for bail, which they got soon after the sentencing.

The court granted Gupta and the duo bail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh each and a surety amount. Special CBI judge Bharat Parashar also sentenced Vikas Patni, managing director of Vikash Metals and Power Limited (VMPL), and its authorised signatory Anand Mallick to a jail term of four years.

 Coal scam: HC Gupta gets bail shortly after CBI court sentences former coal secretary to three years in prison

Representational image. Reuters

On 30 November, the judge had convicted all five in the case of the coal block allocation scam and deferred the sentencing to Wednesday. 5 December. This was Gupta's third conviction in the coal allocation cases.

The sentencing on Wednesday pertained to alleged irregularities in the allocation of the Moira and Madhujore (North and South) coal blocks in West Bengal to VMPL. The CBI had registered an FIR in the case in September 2012.

After pronouncing its decision, the court took all five convicts into custody. On 3 December, when the court heard arguments on the quantum of punishment, Gupta's counsel had pleaded for a lenient sentence keeping his old age and health problems in mind. The lawyer had also said that his family relied only on his pension, NDTV reported.

The CBI had sought a seven-year prison term for the former coal secretary.

On 19 August, 2016, the court had framed charges, including cheating and criminal conspiracy, against Gupta, the two public servants, the firm and its two officials in the case. They had all pleaded not guilty and demanded trial.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Dec 05, 2018 15:26:59 IST