New Delhi, Jul 27: Three top officials of Rathi Steel and Power Ltd (RSPL), convicted in a coal blocks allocation scam case, were today awarded varying jail terms of up to three years by a special court which observed that the country as a whole has suffered loss due to their “unscrupulous acts”. RSPL’s 34- year-old Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Udit Rathi and 60- year-old Managing Director (MD) Pradeep Rathi were sentenced to three years imprisonment while its 35-year- old AGM Kushal Aggarwal was awarded two years jail term. Also Read - CBI Raids 40 Places Across 3 States In Connection With Illegal Coal Trade
Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar also imposed a fine of Rs 50 lakh each on the convicted firm RSPL and its CEO, Rs 25 lakh on the MD and Rs five lakh on the AGM in the case pertaining to irregularities in allocation of Kesla North coal block in Chhattisgarh to the company. Regarding the convicts’ submission that no loss was caused to anyone as coal was not extracted, the court said “it would be suffice to state that non-extraction of the coal in itself has caused huge loss to the country”.(Also Read: CBI arrests 2 absconding chit fund scam accused) Also Read - Coal Scam: Former Union Coal Secretary HC Gupta, Four Others Convicted, Found Guilty of Criminal Conspiracy, Corruption
“Non-availability of such an important raw material has in fact caused an immense loss to the country in its journey to achieve higher infrastructural/industrial development. “Thus, it is the country as a whole which has suffered loss on account of such unscrupulous acts of the convict persons,” the court said. The conviction in RSPL case was the second one, while in the first matter, the court had in April awarded a four-year jail term to Jharkhand Ispat Private Limited directors R C Rungta and R S Rungta in a coal block allocation scam case. Also Read - Congress Demands Independent Probe Into Coal Scam Involving 'Modi's Friend' Adani
The convicts, taken into custody after their conviction yesterday, were granted bail on a personal bond of Rs two lakh each and a surety of like amount as the court allowed their plea to suspend their sentence for one month for filing an appeal in the higher court against their conviction and jail term. While issuing the release warrant, the court also granted them time till August 2 for depositing the fine. In its order today, the court also said that “white collar crimes” are more dangerous to the society than ordinary crimes.