Former Union minister Dilip Ray was on Monday sentenced to three-year imprisonment in a coal scam case. Ray was convicted in the case which pertains to irregularities in the allocation of a Jharkhand coal block in 1999.
A Delhi court had earlier this month reserved the order for October 26 after hearing arguments from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as well the convicts. The court directed the convicts to be present before it physically on that date.
Besides Ray, former minister of state (coal) in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, the CBI had sought life imprisonment for other convicts – two senior officials of the Ministry of Coal at that time, Pradip Kumar Banerjee and Nitya Nand Gautam, and Castron Technologies Ltd’s (CTL) director Mahendra Kumar Agarwalla.
Ray was convicted under various sections including 409 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which pertains to criminal breach of trust of trust by a public servant.
“I am very surprised at conviction under section 409 of the IPC as the same court in the past has acquitted people in 409 IPC in view of three-judge bench judgement of Supreme Court. However, I welcome sentence not being harsh of three years having been imposed by the court,” said Vijay Aggarwal, advocate who represented various accused in 2G scam and is also representing various accused in coal scam cases.
This was the first conviction in the coal scam.
The judge had said that Ray “dishonestly facilitated allocation of the abandoned non-nationalised coal mining area in favour of CTL and that too in violation of the direction of law.”
The case pertains to allocation of Brahmadiha coal block in Giridih in Jharkhand to CTL in 1999.