Public prosecutor seeks maximum punishment for accused in WB coal scam

New Delhi: The public prosecutor has asked for maximum punishment for all accused, including serving and retired public servants and private individuals for committing irregularities in the allocation of North and South coal blocks in West Bengal.

“While awarding sentence one has to look at the gravity of the offense and its effect on the society. This case has resulted in a massive loss to the exchequer of the country. Due to this, the Supreme Court also cancelled the allocation of the coal blocks,” the prosecutor said during the hearing of the case here in a special court in the Patiala House.

“Several incidents took place in the past where those who misused the liberty were granted by the court,” the public prosecutor added.

Former Coal Secretary HC Gupta, managing director of Vikash Metal Power Ltd Vikash Patni, authorised signatory Anand Mallick, Coal Ministry’s ex-joint secretary KS Kropha and then director KC Samria have been convicted in the case. Earlier too, the special court had held all of them guilty of criminal conspiracy under multiple sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, after which the accused were taken into the custody.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities in the allocation of Moira and Madhujore (North and South) coal blocks in West Bengal to Vikash Metal Power Ltd. HC Gupta, then Coal Secretary is said to have played a major role in the scandalous allocation of coal blocks.