CBI seeks seven years jail for Jharkhand ex-CM Madhu Koda, others

New Delhi, Dec 14  The CBI on Thursday urged a court here to award the maximum seven-year jail term to former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and others who have been convicted for corruption in a coal block allocation case.

Special Judge Bharat Parashar was also told by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that they are criminals holding high office and considering their official position and conduct, there was no sufficient ground for leniency.

The convicts however sought leniency from the court.

The court will pronounce order on quantum of sentence on December 16.

The court on December 13 had held Koda, his close aide Vijay Joshi, former Coal Secretary H.C. Gupta, Jharkhand's then Chief Secretary A.K. Basu, and private company Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL) guilty of criminal conspiracy and cheating under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The court's order came in the case related to Jharkhand's Rajhara North coal block allocation to VISUL.

The judge, however, acquitted four persons -- VISUL's Director Vaibhav Tulsyan, two public servants Basant Kumar Bhattacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh, and Chartered Accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan -- of all charges.

The CBI had alleged that Koda and others conspired to favour VISUL in getting the coal block.

The CBI had claimed that VISUL had applied for the allocation of Rajhara North coal block on January 8, 2007. Although the Jharkhand government and the Steel Ministry did not recommend its case, a Screening Committee recommended the block allocation to the firm.

The agency had said that Gupta, who was then Chairman of the Screening Committee, had allegedly concealed facts from then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had been heading the Coal Ministry as well, that Jharkhand had not recommended VISUL for allocation of the coal block.
 

(IANS)