Coal scam: Quantum of punishment to ex-secy H C Gupta, 5 others on Dec 5

A Delhi court on Monday said it would pronounce on December 5 its order on the sentencing of former coal secretary H C Gupta and five others convicted for irregularities in the allotment of coal blocks to a private firm in West Bengal.

Special Judge Bharat Parashar concluded hearing on arguments on the quantum of punishment. The CBI sought a maximum of seven years imprisonment for the five convicted persons and imposition of heavy fine on the private firm.

The counsel for Gupta and four other convicted persons sought a lenient sentence.

Gupta’s counsel pleaded that he was 70 years old and suffering from various ailments. He only had his pension to support his family, the lawyer said.

On November 30, the court convicted Gupta, private firm Vikash Metals and Power Limited as well as one serving and one retired public servant — former joint secretary in Ministry of Coal K S Kropha and then director (CA-I) in the ministry KC Samria.

The court also convicted the firm’s managing director Vikash Patni and its authorised signatory Anand Mallick.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities in the allocation of Moira and Madhujore (North and South) coal blocks in West Bengal to VMPL. In September 2012, the CBI registered an FIR in the case.