Former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda convicted in coal scam case, sentencing expected on Thursday

Former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda was convicted in the coal scam case on Wednesday, news reports said.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar held Koda, Gupta and other accused persons, including ex-Jharkhand chief secretary AK Basu and private company Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL), guilty of varying offences including criminal conspiracy in the case pertaining to irregularities in allocation of Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to the Kolkata-based VISUL.

File image of former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda.

File image of former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda.

It, however, acquitted four persons — VISUL's Director Vaibhav Tulsyan and two public servants Basant Kumar Bhattacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh and chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan — of all charges.

All were earlier summoned as accused after the court took cognisance of alleged offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servants) of IPC and under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

The sentencing in the case will take place on Thursday.

The case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Rajhara North coal block in VISUL.

During arguments, the CBI had alleged that the firm had applied for allocation of Rajhara North coal block on 8 January, 2007.

It had said that although the Jharkhand government and the 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 had said that Gupta, who was chairman of the screening committee, had allegedly concealed facts from the 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 had added.

In September this year, the Election Commission had disqualified Koda from contesting elections for three years for failing to file details of expenses related to the 2009 Lok Sabha polls he fought.

He had won the polls from the Singhbhum Lok Sabha seat in Jharkhand. An order issued by the Commission had said that Koda "stands disqualified for three years" for "failing to lodge his account of election expenses in the manner required by the law and for having no good reason or justification for such failure".

Koda had moved the Delhi High Court questioning EC's jurisdiction, but the poll panel was given a go ahead by the court to proceed against the politician.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Dec 13, 2017 10:57:48 IST

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