In case of coal block allocation scam in Jharkhand, a special court has on Saturday, sentenced, former Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Mr. Madhu Koda and ex-coal secretary H.C Gupta an imprisonment of 3 years and a fine of 25 Lakh rupees on Madhu Koda and 1 Lakh rupees on Mr. Gupta. Besides this, their close aids, Former Jharkhand chief secretary A K Basu and Vijay Joshi were also awarded same punishment for indulging in corrupt practices along with them.
All four of them were involved in hatching conspiracy in allocation of Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand( which is a government property) to a Kolkata-based private company, Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL) at a very low price. Moreover, the special judge, Mr. Bharat Parashar imposed a fine of Rs. 50 Lakhs against this firm for being involved in indecent and corrupt practices against the nation.
Well, what is considered to be as unfair is that the convicts have been given a statutory bail to file an appeal against Delhi High Court to challenge the conviction and jail term.
Indian government allotted a total of 216 blocks of coal in the production plan of Coal India Ltd and the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) between the year 1993 and 2010. Sadly, many of the blocks were sold to a private firm and in the end, the number of allocated blocks was left to 196. The CAG draft report estimated the loss of Rs 10.7 lakh crore.
The scam, commonly referred to as Coalgate was investigated by a special CBI terms which reported a scam of Rs 1.86 lakh crores. This is one of the biggest act of corruption reported under the Manmohan Singh-led UPA-2 government. When the scam was reported, Manmohan Singh said that he would resign if found guilty but since the scam was at that time unearthed, he managed to hide. Congress government is still fighting to shrug off this tag of corruption from their party.