New Delhi: A special court on Thursday ordered framing of charges against former coal secretary H C Gupta and five others in a coal scam case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of coal block in Madhya Pradesh.

Besides Gupta, the court ordered framing of charges against two senior public servants, K S Kropha and K C Samria, accused firm Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd (KSSPL), its managing director Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia and chartered account Amit Goyal.

Special CBI judge Bharat Parashar directed that the six accused should be put on trial for the alleged offences under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) of the IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Representational image. Image courtesy: ibnliveRepresentational image. Image courtesy: ibnlive

Representational image. Image courtesy: ibnlive

The court has fixed the matter for October 14 for formal framing of charges against the accused.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Thesgora-B Rudrapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh to KSSPL. Kropha was the then Joint Secretary in Ministry of Coal, while Samria was the then Director (Coal Allocation-I) section in the ministry.

The court on October 13 last year had summoned them as accused after refusing to accept CBI’s closure report. The accused were earlier granted bail by the court.

CBI had lodged an FIR against KSSPL, its officials and other unknown persons for alleged misrepresentation of facts, including inflated net worth, to acquire the coal block. During the arguments on framing of charges, Gupta had claimed that then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had given the “final approval” for allocation of coal block to KSSPL.

CBI had refuted his claim and said that the then Prime Minister, who was also holding the portfolio of Coal Ministry at that time, was “kept in the dark” and it was the then Coal Secretary who had “misled” the senior officials of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

The advocates representing other accused had argued that there was no evidence on record warranting framing of charges against them in the case.

PTI

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Coal scam: Former secretary, 5 others ordered to be put on trial