New Delhi: Former Coal Secretary H C Gupta and two others were today summoned as accused in a coal scam case by a special court, which noted that the bureaucrat had prima facie facilitated allocation of a Madhya Pradesh coal block to Pushp Steels and Mining Pvt Ltd resulting in loss to the government. The court also summoned Pushp Steels and Mining Pvt Ltd (PSMPL) and its director Atul Jain as accused for August 3 for alleged offences under section 120B (criminal conspiracy) read with section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) of the IPC and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar said prima facie Gupta, who was also the Chairman of Screening Committee, by virtue of various “acts of omission and commission”, had facilitated the allocation of Brahmapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh to PSMPL to the detriment of all other applicant companies.
“Clearly, H C Gupta in his capacity as Secretary (Coal) was heading the Screening Committee and was thus entrusted with dominion over various coal blocks to the extent that recommendation for allocation of various coal blocks to different applicant companies was to be made by the Committee headed by him and as constituted under his Ministry,” the court said.
It further said, “thus prima facie by virtue of various acts of omission and commission as discussed above he (Gupta) facilitated allocation of Brahmapuri coal block in favour of M/s PSMPL to the detriment of all other applicant companies.”
“Not only loss was caused to the other applicant companies but also to Government of India as valuable nationalised natural resources of the country i.e. coal stood allotted to a company by dubious means,” it said in its 15-page order.
While taking cognisance of CBI’s charge sheet, the court also summoned Gupta for prima facie substantive offence under section 409 of the IPC, which entails life term as maximum punishment, and under provisions of the anti-graft law.
CBI had chargesheeted these accused in a case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Brahmapuri coal block to PSMPL.