Special court convicts RSPL, its 3 officials in coal scam

A special court today convicted Rathi Steel and Power Ltd (RSPL) and its three officials in a case pertaining to irregularities in allocation of Kesla North coal block in Chhattisgarh to the firm.

Special CBI judge Bharat Parashar held the firm and its officials - managing director Pradeep Rathi, chief executive officer Udit Rathi and AGM Kushal Aggarwal - guilty of offences, including cheating (section 420) and criminal conspiracy (section 120-B) of the IPC.

"I am holding you all guilty," the judge said and ordered that the convicts be taken into custody. The court will, later in the day, hear arguments on the sentence.

The court had earlier framed charges against RSPL and its three officials for the alleged offence of criminal conspiracy read with cheating under the IPC, observing that they had conspired and furnished wrong information to get coal block and misappropriated nationalised natural resources.

The three accused were earlier granted bail after they had appeared in court pursuant to summons.

CBI had filed charges against RSPL and Udit Rathi for alleged offences of criminal conspiracy and cheating. CBI registered FIR against the company and its CEO on 19 June 2013.

Senior public prosecutor VK Sharma requested the court to award maximum punishment to the convicts for committing an economic offence.

Counsel for the accused has sought leniency on the basis of their good conduct during the trial.