A Delhi Court will today continue to hear coal block allocation scam case. On December 16, 2017 the Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Delhi sentenced former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda to three years of imprisonment in connection with Jharkhand coal scam.
Justice Bharat Parashar also sentenced Koda’s close aide Vijay Joshi, former Coal Secretary HC Gupta and Jharkhand’s then Chief Secretary AK Basu to jail for three years. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 25 lakh each on Koda and Joshi, while a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on Gupta and Basu.
Private company Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL) was also found guilty of criminal conspiracy and cheating under the Prevention of Corruption Act and was slapped with a fine of Rs 50 lakh. However, two months statutory interim bail has been granted to Koda, Gupta, Joshi and Basu to appeal in the High Court.
Koda was convicted in the case of illegal allocation of a coal block in Jharkhand to a Kolkata-based firm. The allocation of the Rajhara North coal block is one of the instances of alleged inefficient allocation of coal blocks during 2004 to 2009. The coal scam hit headlines in 2012 after a Central government audit revealed that the country had notionally lost upto Rs 1.86 lakh crore due to the inefficient allocation of coal blocks.