Former Union Minister Dilip Ray, who was convicted in connection with the 1999 Jharkhand Coal Scam, his sentence was suspended from Delhi High Court and ordered him to remain on bail.
Dilip Ray has sentenced a three-year jail term and a fine of 10 Lakh by Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar for allegedly contriving to allocate Brahmadiha coal block in Giridih, Jharkhand to a private company- Castron Technologies Ltd in 1999. The scam concerned to distortions in the allocation of a Jharkhand coal block in 1999 when Ray was Minister of State for Coal in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Apart from Ray, the court had also convicted two former senior officials of the Ministry of Coal Pradip Kumar Banerjee and Nitya Nand Gautam, and Director of Castron Technologies Limited, Mahendra Kumar Aggarwal.
This raises a tough question on the Indian Law system as even after the pronouncement of punishment, now Dilip Ray’s conviction has been suspended, and the court ordered him to remain on bail. It seems like strict laws are only applicable to the standard or ordinary people.
Vijay Aggarwal, Advocate who appeared for Ray sought an urgent invasion of the high court in the matter terming his client’s conviction and sentencing as illegal. He also challenged the sentence which was dated on 6th October and sentencing of Ray by Special Central Beurur of Investigation judge. He argued that the conviction was incorrect on facts and that the sentence the first under section 409 IPC in Coal Scam Cases, was inconsistent to the law placed down by the three-member bench judgement. In contrast, it was held that a minister solely having the power to grant will not be assumed to have been consigned with the property. He even stated that the CBI disregarded all the facts that the allocated mine was abandoned since 1916. For further argument, Aggarwal noted that Ray was not allowed by the trial court to clarify certain circumstances. The conviction can damage the political career of Ray and appeal need to be heard “expeditiously” to clear the name of his client.
After which the judge suspended the sentencing and listed the appeal for hearing on 25th November to which the CBI further didn’t object.
Article Written by Dikhya Mohanty
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