Chief Secy faces CBI court trial

Coal case

NEW DELHI: A special CBI court on Thursday put on trial present Meghalaya Chief Secretary K.S Kropha, former coal secretary H.C Gupta and one more public servant for alleged cheating and criminal conspiracy in the infamous JICPL case.
Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar framed charges against senior public servants Kropha and K.C Samria, JAS Infrastructure Capital Pvt Ltd (JICPL) and its director Manoj Kumar Jayaswal for the alleged irregularities in the allotment of Mahuagarhi coal block in Jharkhand to the private firm.
After the charges were framed, the accused pleaded not guilty and claimed trial in the case. The court has put up the matter for further hearing on April 17 next year.
While ordering to put the accused on trial, the court had on December 7, said, “The facts of the present case prima facie show that accused H.C Gupta, K.S Kropha and K.C Samria entered into a criminal conspiracy with M/s JICPL and its director Manoj Kumar Jayaswal so as to procure allotment of a coal block in favour of M/s JICPL.”
The company is owned by the Congress MP Vijay Darda.
“The acts alleged against the accused public servants Gupta, Kropha and Samria are such that if questioned they cannot claim that they were acting in discharge of their official duties,” the court had said.
The court said prima facie charges of alleged offences under sections 420 (cheating), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act are made out against the accused.
A 1982 batch IAS officer born in 1957, Kropha is also the Chief Vigilance Commissioner of Meghalaya. He has recently taken up the coal mining issues in Meghalaya with the PMO and NGT.

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