New Delhi, Apr 4: Directors of Jharkhand Ispat Pvt Ltd (JIPL), R C Rungta and R S Rungta, were today jailed for four years in a coal scam case by a special court which lamented that India was still lagging behind in development due to such “unscrupulous businessmen”. In the first judgement delivered in the coal blocks allocation scam cases, Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar noted that such “white collar crimes” were more dangerous to society than ordinary crimes due to the much higher financial losses and damages inflicted on the public morale. The court also observed that coal was an important element for industrial and infrastructural development of a developing country like India. Also Read: Turkish court jails militia fighter Alparslan Celik wanted by Russia for killing pilot Also Read - These Aren't Pictures of a Hotel Room, But of a Nordic Prison Cell; Twitter Says 'They Look Better Than Our Homes'
“It is on account of such kind of unscrupulous businessmen and industrialists that despite 69 years of independence, our country is still lagging behind than most of the countries in the world in industrial/infrastructural development,” the court said in its 15-page order on sentence. Besides the jail term, the court imposed a total fine of Rs five lakh each on R S Rungta, 79, and R C Rungta, 60, who were convicted on March 28 for the offences of cheating and criminal conspiracy under the IPC. It also slapped a fine of Rs 25 lakh on the company JIPL which was held guilty, along with Rungtas who were taken into custody after being convicted by the court. Also Read - CBI Raids 40 Places Across 3 States In Connection With Illegal Coal Trade
The judge clarified that in case Rungtas, who were present in the courtroom when the sentence was pronounced, do not pay the fine, then they will have to further undergo imprisonment for one more year each. Rungtas and JIPL are the first ones to be convicted among the several coal scam cases pending before the special court which had convicted them saying they had “fraudulently” and with a dishonest intention “deceived” government in allocating the North Dhadu coal block in Jharkhand to the firm. Besides this, 19 other cases investigated by the CBI are pending before the court, which was set up to exclusively deal with all coal scam matters. Also Read - No Freedom of Expression? Chinese Journalist Faces 5 Years in Prison For Reporting on COVID-19
Two other cases probed by ED are also pending before the court. Dealing with arguments advanced by the defence counsel that there was no “identifiable victim”, the judge said, “I may state that not only under our criminal justice administration system, State is the representative of the interest of the community but as already mentioned, it is the country as a whole which has suffered loss on account of such unscrupulous acts of the convict persons.”