Delhi HC suspends 3-year jail term of former Union minister of state for coal Dilip Ray in coal scam

The case pertains to allocation of 105.153 hectares (ha) of an abandoned coal mining area in Giridih district in favour of Castron Technologies Limited by the 14th screening committee of the Union coal ministry in 1999.
Ray, 66, was part of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government that was acting as a caretaker government when this particular allocation was approved by Ray.(File photo)
Ray, 66, was part of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government that was acting as a caretaker government when this particular allocation was approved by Ray.(File photo)
Updated on Oct 27, 2020 06:31 PM IST
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ByHT Correspondent | Edited by Meenakshi Ray

Delhi High Court on Tuesday suspended the sentencing of former Union minister of state for coal Dilip Ray, who was given jail term of three years by a special CBI court on Monday for illegally allocating a coal block in Jharkhand to a private company in 1999.

The special CBI judge, Bharat Parashar, observed that the Brahmadiha coal block in Jharkhand’s Giridih was allocated to Castron Technologies Ltd (CTL) by Dilip Ray, who was the tminister of state (Mos) for coal at that time, despite the fact that he was part of a “caretaker” government, which should not have taken a major policy decision. Ray, 66, was part of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government that was acting as a caretaker government when this particular allocation was approved by Ray.

Besides Ray, two former senior officials of the coal ministry, Pradip Kumar Banerjee and Nitya Nand Gautam, as well as Mahendra Aggarwalla of Castron Technologies Ltd were sentenced to three-year jail terms and fined Rs 10 lakh each. The judge also imposed fines of Rs 60 lakh on CTL and Rs 10 lakh on Castron Mining Ltd (CML). The accused were convicted on October 6 for criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating and prevention of corruption act.

The case pertains to allocation of 105.153 hectares (ha) of an abandoned coal mining area in Giridih district in favour of Castron Technologies Limited by the 14th screening committee of the Union coal ministry in 1999. It is different from the investigative agency’s probe into improper allocation of captive coal blocks between 2004 and 2009 -- a scandal that roiled the United Progressive Alliance headed by Manmohan Singh.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021