Court grants bail to coal ex-secretary, others

New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) A special court hearing a coal block allocation case on Wednesday granted bail to coal ministry ex-secretary H.C. Gupta, two senior public servants and others.

Special Judge Bharat Parashar granted bail to Gupta, K.S. Kropha, the then joint secretary in the coal ministry, and K.C. Samria, who was director (coal allocation-I section).

Chairman of Navbharat Power Pvt Ltd (NPPL), now known as Brahmani Thermal Power Pvt. Ltd. (BTPPL), P. Trivikrama Prasad, and vice chairman Y. Harish Chandra Prasad were also granted bail.

The court granted bail to them on their furnishing a personal bond of Rs.1 lakh each with one surety of like amount.

They face charges of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust by public servants and cheating under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

All of them are accused in the coal block allocation case involving irregularities in the allocation of coal block in Rampia in Odisha to the NPPL.

A charge sheet was filed last year against NPPL and its officials on charge of misrepresenting facts, including inflated net worth, to acquire coal blocks in Rampia and Dip Side of Rampia in Odisha.

The court on November 12 last year directed the probe agency to conduct further probe in the matter, observing the act of the then senior officials of the coal ministry in overlooking alleged misrepresentation by the NPPL for acquiring the coal block prima facie amounted to criminal misconduct.

A special court on Tuesday had granted bail to former coal secretary H.C. Gupta and the coal ministry’s then section officer L.S. Janoti in a case pertaining to allocation of Maharashtra’s Bander coal block to AMR Iron and Steel Private Ltd.

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