Former minister Dilip Ray gets 3-year jail, fined Rs 10 lakh in coal scam case | India News – Times of India

Former minister Dilip Ray gets 3-year jail, fined Rs 10 lakh in coal scam case | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: White collar crimes are in fact more dangerous to the society than ordinary crimes, firstly, because the financial losses are much higher, and, secondly because of the damages inflicted on public morale. The observation is part of a 28-page sentencing order of a special CBI court, which awarded three years rigorous imprisonment to former union minister Dilip Ray
and fined him Rs 10 lakh in a case pertaining to the alleged irregularities in allocation of Brahmadiha coal block in Jharkhand to Castron Technologies Limited in 1999.
Special CBI judge Bharat Parashar’s order stated, “The average loss from ordinary crimes such as burglaries, robberies and larcenies etc.. may run into a few thousand rupees only but the loss which the white collar crimes may cause run not only in lakhs but in crores of rupees.”
The order highlighted that to find criminality in crimes committed by white collar criminals was often a difficult task, for these crimes were committed after much deliberation and planning by “well-trained” minds that had a high status in society.
The CBI, through senior public prosecutor A P Singh and advocate Tarannum Cheema, had sought “no leniency” as the accused had been convicted for economic offences and corruption.
On October 6, the court convicted Ray and two senior officials of the Ministry of Coal (MOC) at the relevant time, Pradip Kumar Banerjee and Nitya Nand Gautam besides Castron Technologies Ltd (CTL), its director Mahendra Kumar Agarwalla and Castron Mining Ltd (CML). The convicted judgment stated, “Issues relating to M/s CTL were dealt with by Ray while being part of a caretaker government and which ultimately led to allocation of the coal block in question in favour of the company, unerringly point towards his malafide intentions in taking various such decisions directly benefitting company M/s CTL.”
All convicts, including Ray, sought leniency from the court. Ray said that he had suffered extreme mental agony and irreparable damage to his political career. He said that he had no previous criminal record. Banerjee, 80, submitted that he had had a glorious career spanning 40 years as a public servant and in recognition of the same he was even awarded “Padma Shri” by the Government of India.
The court, however, on Monday fined M/s CTL with Rs 60 lakh for the various offences it had been convicted under. Similarly M/s CML was fined Rs 10 lakh and Agarwalla was sentenced to a three-year jail term and fined Rs 60 lakh. Banerjee was also given a three-year jail term in addition to a Rs 2 lakh fine. Gautam, too, was fined Rs 2 lakh and awarded three years in jail.
The court observed that the criminal behaviour of white collar criminals that could include businessman, industrialists, entrepreneurs, traders, politicians, bureaucrats or well-qualified professionals couldn’t be simply explained on the basis of various theories that explained cause of traditional crimes, such as poverty or lack of infrastructural facilities or recreational facilities or feeble mindedness or emotional instability.
Judge Parashar noted, “On the other hand such persons are not only capable but are also emotionally balanced and in no sense pathological. The only reason which may however explain such behaviour of white collar criminals is their greed or lust to acquire maximum material resources in the name of their business, taking benefit of open competition, economy and individual freedom.”
The court said that white collar crimes were a peculiar feature of an “acquisitive and affluent” society and even though the society couldn’t be strictly termed as an affluent society, it certainly was becoming “acquisitive”.
Ray and others were convicted for conspiring together “so as to procure allocation of a captive coal block, Brahmadiha coal block” in favour of the company and finally achieved the object of criminal conspiracy by undertaking various acts of cheating. The court also held Ray guilty of criminal breach of trust by a public servant.
The conviction judgment stated, “It has been concluded beyond shadows of all reasonable doubts that all the five accused persons – CLT, Agarwalla, Ray, Banerjee and Gautam conspired together so as to procure allocation of Brahmadiha coal block in favour of CTL and finally achieved the said object of the criminal conspiracy by undertaking various acts of cheating MOC by CTL and Agarwalla and by various acts constituting the offence of criminal misconduct by Ray, Banerjee and Gautam and also the offence of criminal breach of trust by public servant by Ray…”
The court convicted them for various offences including criminal conspiracy (120-B of IPC), criminal breach of trust by public servant (409 of IPC), cheating (420 of IPC) and provisions of the Prevent of Corruption Act, 1988. M/s CML was convicted under Section 379 (theft) of IPC.

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