Delhi HC admits Dilip Ray's plea, suspends his sentence in Jharkhand coal block case

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Representative image
Representative image

New Delhi [India], October 27 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday admitted the appeal filed by former union minister Dilip Ray and suspended his sentence in connection with the alleged irregularities in the allocation of a Jharkhand coal block in 1999.

Ray has filed an appeal in the Delhi High Court challenging a trial court order convicting him in a coal block allocation case. The High Court has admitted the plea, suspended his sentence and listed the matter in November, said a lawyer, connected in the matter.

A special CBI court on Monday granted bail to Ray and others after sentencing them to three years in prison in connection with the alleged irregularities in the allocation of a Jharkhand coal block in 1999.

Special Judge Bharat Prashar has granted bail to all convicts on a personal bail bond of Rs 1 lakh each after they apprise the court that they are going in the appeal against the judgement.

The CBI court had earlier today awarded three-year imprisonment to Dilip ray and three other individuals. Besides Ray, the court also awarded three-year jail term each to two senior officials of the Ministry of Coal at that time, Pradip Kumar Banerjee and Nitya Nand Gautam and Castron Technologies Ltd's (CTL) director Mahendra Kumar Agarwal.

The court, along with imprisonment, also imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on Ray, Rs two lakh each on Banerjee and Gautam, while Agarwalla was asked to pay a fine of Rs 60 lakh. The court further imposed Rs 60 lakh on CLT and Rs 10 lakh on Castron Mining Ltd (CML).

"The criminal behaviour of such "whitecollar criminals" which may include businessman, industrialists, entrepreneurs, traders, politicians, bureaucrats or well-qualified professionals can not be simply explained on the basis of various theories developed to explain the causation of traditional crimes such as poverty or lack of infrastructural facilities or recreational facilities or feeble-mindedness or emotional instability," the court has observed in its order.

Ray was a former Minister of State for the Ministry of Coal during the then NDA government.

The court had, while convicting the accused persons, had said that it has been now concluded beyond shadows of all reasonable doubts that all the five accused persons conspired together so as to procure allocation of a captive coal block and achieved the said object of the criminal conspiracy by undertaking various acts of cheating.

The CBI, in its charge-sheet, had booked these accused under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The case pertains to the allocation of the Brahmadiha coal block in Giridih of Jharkhand to CTL in 1999. (ANI)

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