A special court on Friday framed charges, including cheating and criminal conspiracy against former coal secretary HC Gupta, two public servants, private firm Vikash Metals and Power Ltd and its two officials in a coal blocks allocation scam case.
Special Judge Bharat Parashar put on trial all the accused in the case in which the CBI’s closure report was earlier rejected by the court, asking the probe agency to further investigate the matter.
The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Moira and Madhujore (North and South) coal blocks in West Bengal to VMPL. In September 2012, the CBI had registered an FIR in the case.
Besides Gupta and the firm, the court ordered to put on trial public servants, ex-joint secretary in Ministry of Coal (MoC) KS Kropha, the then director (CA-I) in MoC, KC Samria, firm’s managing director Vikash Patni and its authorised signatory Anand Mallick.
The accused pleaded not guilty and claimed trial after which the court fixed the matter for further hearing on September 9.
Gupta, an accused in several coal scam cases and presently out on bail, had recently told the court that he intended to “face trial from inside the jail” and withdraw his personal bond to secure bail due to financial difficulties.
He had also refused to accept the court’s offer to avail an advocate from New Delhi Legal Aid Services Authority or an amicus curiae appointed by the court. His application is presently pending before the court.