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Former Union minister Dilip Ray sentenced to 3 years’ imprisonment in coal scam case

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A special CBI court in Delhi on Monday sentenced former Union minister Dilip Ray to three years in prison after he was found guilty in a coal scam case. Apart from Dilip Ray, the special CBI court also pronounced a three-year jail term to three others convicted in the case.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on each of the convicts. It also imposed a fine of Rs. 60 lakh on Castron Technologies Ltd’s (CLT) and Rs 10 lakh fine on Castron Mining Ltd (CML), also held guilty in the case.

Dilip Ray was convicted by the CBI court on October 6 in a case pertaining to irregularities in the allocation of a coal block in Jharkhand in 1999. Notably, Ray, a resident of Odisha who also owns the Mayfair Group of Hotels, was convicted by special judge Bharat Parashar for criminal conspiracy and other offences.

While Ray, a former minister of state (coal) in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, was convicted on October 6, the court heard the arguments related to the quantum of sentence on October 14. On the same day, the court clarified that it will pronounce the quantum of punishment on October 26.

The CBI has sought life imprisonment for the former Union minister. The CBI had told the Delhi court that white-collar crimes are on the rise and maximum punishment needs to be awarded to Dilip Ray to send a message to the society.

Coal ministry officials also convicted

Apart from Dilip Ray, the special court had also convicted two senior officials working in the Ministry of Coal at that time. The officials include—Pradip Kumar Banerjee and Nitya Nand Gautam.

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The court had also held Castron Technologies Limited (CTL) and its director Mahendra Kumar Agarwalla and Castron Mining Limited (CML) as guilty in the illegal allocation of the Brahmadiha coal block in Jharkhand’s Giridih to CTL in 1999.

Political career of Dilip Ray

Sixty-six-year-old Ray, a hotel tycoon and one of the founding members of the Biju Janata Dal, in the 1990s had parted ways with BJD in 2002. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha that year as an independent candidate with the support of some BJP MLAs of Odisha.

He then joined the Congress in 2004, but quit it in 2008. In 2009, he joined the BJP and was elected as an MLA from the Rourkela Assembly constituency in 2014.

He, however, left the party in November 2018 after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chargesheeted him in 2016 in the Brahmadiha coal scam case.

 

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