coal mine

Coal scam : court to pronounce punishment on April 4


coal mineNew Delhi : A special court on Thursday reserved for April 4 its order on the quantum of punishment for Jharkhand Ispat Private Limited (JIPL) and its two directors in a coal block case after the CBI sought maximum jail term for the convicts.

While arguing before special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar, the CBI said the convicts — Jharkhand Ispat Private Limited (JIPL) and its directors R S Rungta and R C Rungta — had committed economic offences with calculated minds so they deserved no leniency and maximum punishment be given to them.

The convicts  were held guilty by the court on March 28 of various charges including deceiving and defrauding the government to bag a coal block in the state.

Rungtas and JIPL are the first ones to be convicted among the several coal scam cases going on in the court which has observed that the convicts had “fraudulently” and with a dishonest intention “deceived” the government in allocating the North Dhadu coal block in Jharkhand to the firm.

In its 132-page judgement, the court had held that the “intention to defraud on the part of accused persons is writ large on the face of record.”

Besides this, 19 other cases investigated by the CBI are pending before court, which was set up to exclusively deal with all coal scam matters. Two other cases probed by ED are also pending before the court.

The court had, however, acquitted R C Rungta for the alleged offences under IPC sections 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating) and 471 (using a forged document as genuine) saying they were not proved against him.

Similarly, the court had acquitted R S Rungta for the alleged offences under sections 468 and 471 of the IPC.

It had observed that due to strict regulations regarding availability of coal, the fact that JIPL managed to procure allotment of coal much beyond the capacity required by it to run its plant “becomes important and it does raise eyebrows.”

In the case pertaining to irregularities in allocation of North Dhadu coal block by 27th and 30th screening committees jointly to JIPL and three other firms M/s Electro Steel Casting Ltd, M/s Adhunik Alloys and Power Ltd and M/s Pawanjay Steel and Power Ltd, the court had earlier summoned two others — Ramabatar Kedia and Naresh Mahto — as accused along with JIPL and the Rungtas.

However, the court was later informed that both Kedia and Mahto had died after which proceedings against them were abated.

@Agency report.

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