Coal scam: Delhi court awards 3-year jail to 3 Himachal EMTA Power Ltd officials

New Delhi, September 7

A Delhi court on Wednesday awarded three-year jail term to two directors and another senior official of Himachal EMTA Power Ltd. (HEPL) in a coal scam case of 2009.

Special Judge Sanjay Bansal also imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh on each of the three convicts - the company's Directors Ujjal Kumar Upadhaya and Bikash Mukherjee, and its CGM (Power) N C Chakraborty - for criminal conspiracy to cheat the government of India by misrepresenting facts to acquire a coal block in West Bengal.

The judge also imposed a fine of Rs 20 lakh on Himachal EMTA Power Ltd. in the case.

The judge, however, suspended the punishment for a period of 45 days to enable the convicts to appeal their conviction before the Delhi High Court.

The court had convicted the accused persons, ruling the prosecution proved the information regarding the investment, land and water tie-up mentioned in the application for acquiring the coal block and feedback form were false.

It was proved the information about the land, mentioned in a letter dated August 16, 2007 was also false, it said.

The accused, the court held, had the knowledge about the false information being submitted in the documents.

Based on those information, the screening committee, in its September 13, 2007 meeting, chose to recommend allocation of 'Gourangdih ABC coal block' jointly in favour of HEPL and another company.

The judge said the prosecution also established that the accused persons dishonestly induced the Screening Committee, the MoC (Ministry of Coal) and the government of India to issue coal block allocation letter on July 10, 2009.

Senior Advocate R S Cheema and advocates Sanjay Kumar, A P Singh, N P Srivastava and Tarannum Cheema appeared for the CBI before the court.

Notably, the CBI had named Chakraborty as a witness in the charge sheet, but the then judge made him an accused, saying "I do not find myself in agreement with the said conclusion drawn by CBI." The judge noted the information supplied by Chakraborty was in furtherance of the criminal conspiracy of which certain acts were already performed by Ujjal Kumar Upadhaya and Bikash Mukherjee.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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