Coal Scam: Three Years Jail for Ex-Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda

Elias Hubbard
December 17, 2017

With today's sentencing, Koda would barred from venturing into electoral politics in the light of a 2013 judgement of the Supreme Court.

A Delhi court on Saturday sentenced former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and ex-Coal Secretary HC Gupta to three years in jail for corruption in a coal block allocation case.

The "coal-gate" scam came light in March 2012 after a draft Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Report accused the Centre of inefficient allocation of coal blocks between 2004 and 2009. Besides Koda, former coal secretary H C Gupta, former Jharkhand chief secretary A K Basu, and Vijay Joshi, a close aide of the ex-CM, were also awarded a three-year jail term for indulging in corruption and criminal conspiracy in connection with the allocation of the Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to Kolkata-based Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (Visul).

Special judge Bharat Parashar convicted the private firm and imposed a fine of Rs 50 lakh on it.

On Wednesday, the court found them guilty of various offences, including criminal conspiracy, in the case pertaining to irregularities in allocation of Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to the Kolkata-based VISUL.

On the issue of the Rs 25 lakh fine imposed on him, Koda said his bank accounts have been frozen and he will have to borrow the amount.

Goyal had alleged that the conviction put a question mark over the functioning of the then UPA government at the Centre and the Congress-backed Koda government at the state as the coal allocation in question was cleared under the UPA's nose.

Gupta, who was then the chairman of a screening committee, had concealed facts from then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who had also been heading the Coal Ministry at the time, the probe agency said in its charge sheet.

VISUL had applied for allocation of the coal block on 8 January 2007 on the recommendation of the 36th Screening Committee.

46-year-old Madhu Koda has been the Chief Minister of Jharkhand from September 2006 to August 2008.

"They are criminals holding the office".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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