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Former coal secretary HC Gupta and two others convicted in a coal scam case

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New Delhi: In a major verdict on multi-crore coal scam, a special court on Friday convicted former coal secretary HC Gupta,  joint secretary KS Kropha, Krishnapatnam Security Services Pvt. Ltd (KSSPL) and its Managing Director (MD) P.K. Ahluwalia guilty of criminal conspiracy .

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar also convicted the coal ministry’s then joint secretary K S Kropha and then director K C Samaria besides others in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Thesgora-B Rudrapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh to KSSPL.

The court will pronounce the order on quantum of sentence on May 22.

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The court, however, acquitted chartered accountant Amit Goyal in the case.

Besides Gupta, Kropha and Samria, the court also convicted the firm KSSPL and its managing director Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia.

Kropha was the then joint secretary in the Ministry of Coal, while Samria was the then director (coal allocation-I) in the ministry.

During the hearing, the CBI had alleged that the application filed by KSSPL for the coal block was incomplete and was supposed to be rejected by the ministry as it was not in accordance with the guidelines issued.

The CBI had charged that the firm had misrepresented its net worth and existing capacity, adding that state government had also not recommended the firm for the allocation of any coal block.

The accused, however, denied the allegations during the arguments.

The court had in October last year framed charges against the accused observing that former prime minister Manmohan Singh was kept in the “dark” by Gupta, who had prima facie violated the law and the trust reposed in him on the issue of coal block allocation.

Around eight different charge sheets have been filed against Gupta and proceedings are going on individually. The Supreme Court had recently dismissed his plea seeking joint trial in all these cases.

(with agencies input)

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