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Court orders framing of charges against ex-Coal Secretary

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A special court has ordered framing of charges against former Coal Secretary H C Gupta, Grace Industries Ltd (GIL), its two directors and others in a coal scam case for alleged offences of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy.

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Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar ordered to put all the six accused on trial in the case of alleged irregularities in allocation of a Maharashtra coal block to the Nagpur-based firm, saying that prima facie charges were made out against them.

Besides Gupta and the firm, the court passed the order on framing of charges against senior public servant K S Kropha, a former Joint Director in Ministry of Coal, Vishwas Sawakhande, earlier Director in Directorate of Geology and Mining in Maharashtra government and directors of GIL, Mukesh Gupta and Seema Gupta.

The court has now fixed July 4 for putting all the six accused on trial for the alleged offences punishable under sections of 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 409 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) of the IPC.

The court also order framing of charges against Gupta, Sawakhande and Kropha under the Prevention of Corruption Act .

The court had earlier granted bail to the five accused persons in connection with the case after they appeared before it in pursuance to the summons issued to them in the case.

According to CBI, the 34th Screening Committee had allotted Lohara (East) coal block jointly to M/s GIL and to M/s Murli Agro Products Pvt Ltd and the letter of allotment was issued on June 27, 2008.

In its charge sheet, CBI had claimed that the accused firm and its officials had misrepresented facts to bag the coal block.

PTI

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