The CBI today approached the Delhi High Court seeking an enhanced jail term for former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda, who along with others was convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment in a coal scam case.
They all were sentenced to three years in jail by a trial court in December last year. Their sentences were suspended by the high court when they moved the superior court against their conviction and sentence.
The CBI has also filed a plea challenging the acquittal of several accused by the trial court.
Senior advocate R S Cheema, appearing for the CBI, said the agency has appealed against the acquittal of four persons VISUL's former director Vaibhav Tulsyan and two public servants Basant Kumar Bhattacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh and chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan in the case.
The agency has also challenged the acquittal of Joshi and VISUL for the alleged offence of cheating and Gupta's acquittal for the alleged offence of criminal breach of trust by public servant and under the provision of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
As the separate appeals filed by the CBI and the convicts were listed before different benches today, justices Mukta Gupta and R K Gauba said that the matter be put up before the Chief Justice for fixing it for hearing before the concerned bench for September 10.
Koda, ex-coal secretary H C Gupta, Basu and Joshi were awarded jail terms of three years for indulging in corrupt practices and hatching a criminal conspiracy in the allocation of Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to the Kolkata-based company.
The convicts were granted statutory bail by the trial court for a period of two months to enable them file appeals in the high court challenging the verdict.
The high court had stayed the trial court order also imposing a fine of Rs 50 lakh, Rs 25 lakh, Rs 25 lakh and Rs one lakh on VISUL, Koda, Joshi and Basu respectively.
While sentencing the convicts, the special court had said "white collar crimes" were more "dangerous" to the society than ordinary crimes.
The trial court had also imposed a fine Rs one lakh on Gupta in the UPA-era coal scam.
The convicts were tried for offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servants) of the IPC and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
While the offence of cheating carries a maximum of seven years jail term, criminal breach of trust by public servants entails a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
The CBI had said that the firm had applied for allocation of Rajhara North coal block on January 8, 2007.
It had said that although the Jharkhand government and the steel ministry did not recommend VISUL's case for coal block allocation, the 36th Screening Committee recommended the block to the accused firm.
The CBI had said that Gupta, who was chairman of the screening committee, had concealed facts from then prime minister Manmohan Singh, who at that time headed the coal ministry too, that Jharkhand had not recommended VISUL for allocation of a coal block.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)