The CBI Wednesday urged a Delhi court to award life imprisonment to former Union minister Dilip Ray who was convicted in a coal scam case pertaining to irregularities in the allocation of a Jharkhand coal block in 1999.
Special Judge Bharat Parashar reserved the order for October 26 after hearing arguments from the 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 also sought life imprisonment for other convicts in the case, including 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.
Besides, the prosecution sought imposition of maximum fine on CLT and Castron Mining Ltd (CML), also held guilty in the case.
The CBI, represented by public prosecutors V K Sharma and A P Singh, told the court during the arguments held via video conferencing that white collar crimes are on the rise and the maximum punishment was required to send a message to the society.
Ray was convicted under various sections including 409 of IPC (criminal breach of trust of trust by a public servant), that carries a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
This is the first conviction in coal scam for the offence carrying maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
The convicts urged the court to take a lenient view considering their old age and that they were never convicted earlier.
The court had convicted the five accused persons for various offences including criminal conspiracy (120-B of IPC), criminal breach of trust by public servant (409 of IPC), cheating (420 of IPC) and corruption (PC Act). It convicted the sixth accused, CML, for theft (379 of IPC).
Regarding Ray, the judge had said that he “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.”
“He thus dishonestly allowed misappropriation of the said coal mining area by company CTL,” the judge observed.
The case pertains to allocation of Brahmadiha coal block in Giridih in Jharkhand to CTL in 1999.