Coal Scam: Delhi HC Suspends 3-Yr-Jail Term of Former MoS Ray

The Quint
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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday, 27 October, suspended the sentencing of former Union minister Dilip Ray in a case related to irregularities in Jharkhand coal block allocation in 1999.

The court has granted bail to the former Union minister.

This comes a day after Ray was awarded three years in jail by a Special CBI Court in a coal scam case. The court had also fined Ray with a bond of Rs 1 lakh each.

Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, appearing for Ray, had challenged both – the conviction dated 6 October and sentencing on Monday of Ray by Judge Bharat Parashar, reported Hindustan Times.

Also Read: Jharkhand Coal Scam: Former Union Minister Dilip Ray Convicted

The high court has refused to stay the conviction but suspended the sentencing, while granted them time till 25 November to appeal in the high court.

Besides Ray, two former senior officials of the Ministry of Coal – Pradip Kumar Banerjee, the then Additional Secretary, and Nitya Nand Gautam, former advisor (Projects) – Castron Technologies Limited and its director Mahendra Kumar Agarwalla, and Castron Mining Limited, had also been found guilty, with the special CBI court also awarding three-year jail terms to them.

The judge also imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on them, Rs 60 lakh on Castron Technologies Limited and Rs 10 lakh on Castron Mining Limited, IANS reported.

What is the Case?

The former Minister of State (MoS) for Coal in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and five others were convicted in the case on 6 October, with the court noting that they conspired together, beyond all reasonable doubt, to procure allocation of the coal block.

The case pertains to the allocation of 105.153 hectares of non-nationalised and abandoned coal mining area in Jharkhand’s Giridih district to Castron Technologies Limited by the 14th Screening Committee of the Ministry of Coal in 1999.

Senior Public Prosecutor AP Singh had told the court that as Brahmadiha coal block was not an identified captive coal block to be allocated to private parties, even the screening committee was not competent to consider its allocation to any company much less to Castron Technologies Limited.

(With inputs from Hindustan Times and IANS)

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