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Former coal secretary H C Gupta has been summoned as accused by a special court in a case of alleged irregularities in allocation of a Chattisgarh-based coal block to SKS Ispat and Power Ltd (SIPL). Gupta, already facing prosecution in seven cases related to the coal scam, was summoned for the alleged offences of forgery, cheating, criminal conspiracy and criminal misconduct. Besides Gupta, special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) judge Bharat Parashar also summoned senior government official K S Kropha, the firm, its two directors Anil Gupta and Deepak Gupta, and three others -- Amit Singh, Rakesh Singh and Jagan Nath Panda -- as accused in the case. The court passed the order after taking cognisance of the CBI charge sheet which has claimed that the accused misrepresented facts before the screening committee in relation to the land and net worth of the company. The final report alleged that the accused hatched a criminal conspiracy to cheat the screening committee to bag mining contract for Fatehpur coal block in Chattisgarh. According to the charge sheet, SIPL, which had got Fatehpur coal block in Chhattisgarh in 2008, misrepresented on aspects of preparedness and was ineligible on the issue of net worth. CBI had registered an FIR in the matter in 2014. The former coal secretary had on August 16 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.
However, he later withdrew his plea.Seven charge sheets have already been filed against Gupta in separate coal cases and proceedings are going on individually. The Supreme Court had recently dismissed his plea seeking joint trial in all these cases. Some of the cases in which Gupta was summoned as accused by the court include those relating to alleged irregularities in allocation of Thesgora-B Rudrapuri coal block to Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd (KSSPL) and allocation of Moira and Madhujore (North and South) coal blocks in West Bengal's Raniganj area to Vikash Metal and Power Ltd. He is also accused in a case of alleged irregularities in the allotment of the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to two companies of Jindal Group and allocation of Brahmapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh to Pushp Steels and Mining Pvt Ltd.