Stayed: Jail term for Koda in coal scam

Madhu Koda. File picture: Prem Singh

New Delhi, Jan. 2 (PTI): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday stayed till January 22 a trial court’s order awarding three-year jail term to former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda in a coal scam case.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has to reply by then to Koda’s appeal challenging the conviction and sentencing.

Justice Anu Malhotra also stayed the order imposing a fine of Rs 25 lakh on Koda, who was present in the court, and granted him interim bail till the next date of hearing this month with a direction that he will not leave the country.

The order came on Koda's plea seeking suspension of sentence and regular bail till the high court hears his appeal.

Koda, who was held guilty of corruption and conspiracy in allocation of a Jharkhand-based coal block to a Calcutta-based company, also challenged the trial court’s December 13 order convicting him, and the December 16 order sentencing him.

The high court admitted Koda’s petition.

The former chief minister was granted bail by a trial court till January 18.

In his appeal, Koda said the trial court order holding him guilty was bad in law.

CBI counsel Tarannum Cheema opposed the appeal and stay on the fine, but the agency did not oppose interim bail granted to Koda till January 22.

The high court had on December 22, 2017 stayed a trial court order imposing a fine of Rs 50 lakh on VISUL in the case till the next date of hearing.

The high court on December 20 had sought response of the CBI on an appeal by Koda's close aide Vijay Joshi against the trial court's order awarding him three years jail term in the coal scam case.

All the pleas filed so far in connection with this matter will be heard on January 22.

Koda, ex-coal secretary H C Gupta, former Jharkhand chief secretary A.K. Basu, and Joshi were awarded jail terms of three years for corruption and hatching a criminal conspiracy in the allocation of Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to the Calcutta-based company. 


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