The Special Judge, CBI (Coal Blocks Allocation Cases), Rouse Avenue Courts, New Delhi on Friday convicted four accused – H.C. Gupta, Ex-Secretary, Ministry of Coal; K.S. Kropha, Ex-Joint Secretary, Ministry of Coal; M/s Grace Industries Ltd., Nagpur & its Director Mukesh Gupta in a case related to the allocation of Lohara East Coal block in Maharashtra.
The CBI had registered the instant case on September 20, 2012, related to allocation of Lohara East Coal block situated in Maharashtra. The coal block was located in an area of 3.5 Sq Km and was having estimated geological reserves of approximately 57 Million Tons. The coal block was jointly allocated to M/s Grace Industries along with M/s Murli Industries Ltd.
“During the investigation, it was revealed that M/s Grace Industries Limited had secured an allocation of 16.14 million Tons of Coal reserves in the Lohara East coal block on the basis of false information about net worth, capacity, equipments and status of procurement and installation of the plant. It was found that the said private Company in its application claimed its net worth as Rs 120 crore whereas its own Networth was Rs 3.3 crore and falsified its existing capacity as 1,20,000 TPA against the actual project capacity of 30,000 TPA. The private Company in feedback form claimed 02 kilns in production & 03 kilns under installation whereas as on 07/09/2006, the company had only one kiln in operation. After the allocation of the coal block, Shri Mukesh Gupta, Director of the company sold the entire equity/share of his company to another person at a profit of about 20 Crore. It was found that 51 private Companies had applied for the said coal block, however, criteria for Inter-se-priority were not followed to determine the most suitable company. The Company had also submitted an incomplete application, which as per the guidelines of Ministry of Coal was liable to be rejected. However, officials were concerned of the Ministry of Coal did not ensure scrutiny of applications. Moreover, the application of the Company was also not sent to the Ministry of Steel, the concerned Administrative Ministry for its assessment. It was also found that the company was recommended for allocation of coal block without the recommendations of Ministry of Steel, Ministry of Power and Govt. of Maharashtra. Moreover, excess coal was allotted to company despite written complaint made by the other allottee company,” CBI claimed in a statement.
“After thorough investigation, a charge-sheet was filed on 28.10.2014. The charges were framed on 07.06.2016 against the accused. The Trial Court found the said four accused guilty, and acquitted two persons. The Court will hear the arguments on the point of sentence on 04.08.2022,” the statement added.