The CBI urged a Delhi court on Wednesday to award life imprisonment to former Union minister Dilip Ray who has been 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.
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 in the argument held through video conferencing that white collar crimes are on the rise and 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 by a public servant), that varies a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
This is the first conviction in coal scam for the offence carrying maximum punishment of life imprisonment. The convicted persons urged the court to take a lenient view considering their old age and that they have never been convicted earlier.
The court reserved the order after hearing the arguments and directed the convicts to be present before it physically on October 26.