Convicts’ acts led non-extraction of coal, harmed India: Court

New Delhi, The “unscrupulous acts” of five convicts including former Coal Secretary H C Gupta led to non- extraction of coal from a mine in Madhya Pradesh causing “immense” loss to the country, a special court here has said.

The significant observation has been made by Special Judge Bharat Parashar in his verdict convicting the former top bureaucrat and four others including beneficiary firm Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd (KSSPL) and its Managing Director Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia in allocation of a coal block in MP.

“Non-availability of such an important raw material has in fact caused an immense loss to the country in its journey to achieve higher infrastructural/industrial development.

“Thus it is the country as a whole which has suffered loss on account of such unscrupulous acts of the convict persons,” the judgement said.

The special court rejected the fervent plea of the accused for leniency on the grounds that no loss was caused to anyone as not even a single ounce of coal was extracted from the allocated mine.

The court has also imposed a fine of Rs one crore on the firm while Ahluwalia was awarded three-year jail term.

Rejecting the submissions, the court said “it would be suffice to state that non-extraction of coal in itself has caused huge loss to the country”.

Gupta and two serving senior officials — K S Kropha and K C Samaria — were awarded two-year jail term by the court in the case pertaining to irregularities in the allocation of of the Thesgora-B Rudrapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh to the firm.