A Special CBI court on Monday sentenced former union minister of state for coal, Dilip Ray, 66, to three years for illegally allocating, in 1999, a Jharkhand coal block to a private company Castron Technologies Ltd (CTL).
The special CBI judge, Bharat Parashar, observed that the Brahmadiha coal block in Giridih, Jharkhand was allocated to Castron Technologies Ltd in 1999 by Dilip Ray, the then minister of state (Mos) for coal despite the fact that he was part of a “caretaker” government, which should not have taken a major policy decision.
Ray was part of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government that was acting as a caretaker government when this particular allocation was approved by Ray.
Besides Ray, two former senior officials of the coal ministry, Pradip Kumar Banerjee and Nitya Nand Gautam, as well as Mahendra Aggarwalla of Castron Technologies Ltd have also been sentenced to three-year jail terms and fined ₹10 lakh each. The judge also imposed fines of ₹60 lakh on Castron Technologies Ltd (CTL) and ₹10 lakh on Castron Mining Ltd (CML).
The accused were convicted on October 6 for criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating and prevention of corruption act.