A special court on Wednesday found former Jharkand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and three other guilty of illegal allocation of coal block in Jharkand to a Kolkatta based firm. The other three who were found guilty includes former secretary of the coal ministry HC Gupta, former chief secretary of Jharkhand AK Basu and the private firm concerned — Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd.
A CBI Special Court gave the decision on Monday. The matter is also called as coal scam and it became a huge political controversy. The allocation of Rajhara north Coal block is one of the instances of claimed inefficient and inappropriate allocation of coal blocks during 2004 to 2009 by then government (UPA) at the centre.
CBI investigated the matter said that “Madhu Koda, AK Basu and two others conspired to favour the firm, which despite applying for allocation, had been given the thumbs down by the Jharkhand government and the Union ministry of steel. But HC Gupta, who was chairman of the screening committee, had concealed this fact from then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was handling the coal portfolio.”
The Coal scam came to limelight in 2012 after audit by CAG(Comptroller and Auditor General of India) revealed that country lost as many as 1.86 Lakh Crores due to allocation of coal blocks to private firms. Case against former Jharkand Chief Minister Madhu Koda (September 2006 to August 2008) was filed in December 2014.
The accused were found guilty under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) with 420(Cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servants) of IPC and under provisions of Prevention of Corruption act.