Former Coal Secretary HC Gupta Convicted In Coal Scam Case

A Delhi Court on Friday convicted former Coal Secretary H C Gupta and former MoC joint-secretary KS Kropha of criminal conspiracy, cheating, and corruption in a coal scam case involving anomalies in the distribution of the Lohara East coal block in Maharashtra.

Grace Industries Ltd. (GIL) and its Director Mukesh Gupta were also convicted of criminal conspiracy and cheating. The issue was adjourned until August 4, when the court will hear arguments on the amount of punishment to be handed to four prisoners.

Gupta was previously convicted in three other coal-related instances, and his appeal against those convictions is still ongoing in the Delhi High Court. He is now released on bond.

According to the CBI, between 2005 and 2011, the accused perpetrated a criminal conspiracy.

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They defrauded the MoC and the Government of India by dishonestly and fraudulently inducing the MoC to allocate the ‘Lohara East Coal Block’ to GIL based on false information about net worth, capacity, and equipment, and the status of plant procurement and installation.

The CBI further noted that in its application, the firm claimed a net value of 120 crores when it had a net worth of just 3.3 crores and that the company also misrepresented its current capacity as 1,20,000 TPA vs 30,000 TPA.

On August 25, 2014, the Supreme Court cancelled all coal block assignments.

Today’s judgment marked the prosecution’s 11th conviction in the coal fraud trials.

The trial was presided over by senior attorney R S Cheema, CBI Deputy Legal Advisor Sanjay Kumar, and senior public prosecutor A P Singh.