NEW DELHI: In a first in the coal blocks allocation scam case, a special CBI court on Monday convicted Jharkhand Ispat Private Limited (JIPL) and its two directors saying they had fraudulently and with a dishonest intention got the government to allocate North Dhadu coal block in Jharkhand to their firm.
Pronouncing the JIPL and its directors R S Rungta and R C Rungta guilty of cheating and criminal conspiracy, the court said, “It is crystal clear that the accused deceived the screening committee of the Ministry of Coal, and thereby the Government of India on the basis of false representation on the issue of land and as regards the installed/projected capacity of their end use project, so as to procure allotment of a coal block in favour of M/s JIPL,” said Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar.
In its 132-page judgment, the court held that the false representation by the convicts continued to hold ground even when the file containing recommendation of the screening committee went to the Minister incharge of Coal for final approval. It was primarily the government that was deceived into making the coal block allotment in favour of M/s JIPL, while believing the representations to be true, which in fact were not.
It observed that the offence of cheating under Section 420 of the IPC was made out against the three convicts as their act resulted in delivery of a valuable security, that is issuance of allocation letter, for allotment of a coal block to the firm.
The court then ordered that Rungtas be taken into custody and also fixed the matter for March 31 for hearing arguments on the quantum of sentence.
“Different roles were played by the accused in order to support the claim made by each other before different government authorities. The existence of a common agreement amongst the accused is thus writ large on the face of record,” the court said.
However, the court acquitted R C Rungta and R S 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.
In the case regarding irregularities in allocation of North Dhadu block by 27th and 30th screening committees jointly to the 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 Ramabatar Kedia and Naresh Mahto as accused along with the JIPL and Rungtas. But after the death of both Kedia and Mahto, the proceedings against them were abated.
another 20 cases pending
Another 20 cases related to the coal scam are pending before the court. While passing its order in the North Dhadu case, the court said coal is a valuable nationalised resource and hence making false claims to get a coal block is a big issue.