Charges framed against former BJP Coal Minister Dilip Ray
In one of the coal scam cases, a special CBI court on Wednesday framed charges and signalled the beginning of trial of former MoS (Coal) Dilip Ray and others accused of criminal conspiracy
A special CBI court on Wednesday framed charges against BJP leader and former MoS (Coal) Dilip Ray, the then Additional Secretary, Department of Coal, PK Banerjee and the then Advisor (project) NN Gautam among others under sections 120B and 379 of the Indian Penal Code.
While the CBI had filed the chargesheet in December 2015, and though the CBI court had taken cognizance of it in January 2016, 14 months went by before the charges could be framed against Ray, who is the sitting BJP MLA representing Rourkela in the Odisha Assembly.
Ray and the bureaucrats are accused of delivering undue benefits to Castron Technologies and helped it secure the allocation of Brahmadiha coal mine in the Giridih district now in Jharkhand. They have been accused of hatching a criminal conspiracy between 1996 and 1999 to allot the coal mine by misrepresenting facts in the applications.
- They are charged with making false claims about proposed end-use projects
- By falsely claiming that the Coal India subsidiary Central Coalfields Ltd was not interested in mining there
- By ignoring the fact within their knowledge that the mine was not in the list of notified captive coal blocks available for allocation
In his order dated January 15 last year, Special Judge Deepak Parashar had observed that decisions by Ray and the accused civil servants in 1999 were made “without keeping public interest in mind”.
The court had also made searing observations on Castron Techologies in that order, stating that the company had “cheated the government by unlawfully obtaining the allocation of the impugned coal block while entering into a criminal conspiracy with the public servants”.
According to the CBI chargesheet, Ray, along with Gautam and Banerjee, took a “U-turn” in allocating the Brahmadiha coal block in Jharkhand’s Giridih district to Castron Technologies after the company initially didn't meet the ministry guidelines for the allocation of coal blocks. The CBI also reported in its chargesheet that Castron’s application was successful after Ray passed revised criteria for coalblock allocation.
Ray, however, claimed innocence and was quoted in February last year, as saying to PTI: “Let me repeat that I have not recommended the committee to reconsider, rather suggested to re-examine. I will reply to my stand to the court.”