Coal scam: Delhi court convicts former Ministry of Steel official

A Delhi court on Friday convicted a former official of the Ministry of Steel in a coal scam case related to alleged irregularities in the allocation of a coal block in Chhattisgarh.

In the 14th conviction in the coal scam, Special Judge Arun Bhardwaj held Gautam Kumar Basak, former Executive Secretary, JPC (Joint Plant Committee), Ministry of Steel, guilty of corruption in the allocation of Vijay Central Coal Block.

The judge will hear arguments on the quantum of sentence to be handed out to Basak on August 19.

Basak can be sentenced to a maximum of seven years in jail.

According to the prosecution, an allegation was made against Prakash Industries Ltd., which had applied for the coal block in January 2007, that it had furnished false information about its capacity.

The ministry had directed Basak to ascertain the truth of the allegation.

The steel ministry official, according to the prosecution, submitted a false report in 2008 supporting the claims made by the company.

The company and its director were earlier discharged by Delhi High Court in the case. The CBI’s appeal against the high court order is currently pending before the Supreme Court.

The CBI was represented by its Deputy Legal Advisor Sanjay Kumar in the trial court.

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