13 December, New Delhi
A court here on Wednesday convicted former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and others on corruption charges in a coal block allocation case.
Special Judge Bharat Parashar held Koda, former Coal Secretary H.C. Gupta, Jharkhand’s then Chief Secretary A.K. Basu, and private company Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL) also guilty of criminal conspiracy and cheating under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The quantum of punishment will be announced on Thursday.
The court’s order came in the case related to Jharkhand’s Rajhara North coal block allocation to VISUL.
The judge, however, acquitted four persons — VISUL’s Director Vaibhav Tulsyan, two public servants Basant Kumar Bhattacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh, and Chartered Accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan — of all charges.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had alleged that Koda and others conspired to favour VISUL in getting the coal block.
The CBI had claimed that VISUL had applied for the allocation of Rajhara North coal block on January 8, 2007. Although the Jharkhand government and the Steel Ministry did not recommend its case, a Screening Committee recommended the block allocation to the firm.
The agency had said that Gupta, who was then Chairman of the Screening Committee, had allegedly concealed facts from then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had been heading the Coal Ministry as well, that Jharkhand had not recommended VISUL for allocation of the coal block.