India

Three awarded jail terms in coal scam case

Three awarded jail terms in coal scam case

A Delhi court on Thursday awarded varying jail terms to three people in connection with a coal scam case, observing that “white collar crimes are more dangerous to society than ordinary crimes”.

The case in question relates to irregularities in the allocation of the Jharkhand-based North Dhadhu coal block. Two directors of Pawanjay Steel and Power Limited (PSPL) — Gyanchand Prasad Agarwal (70) and Umesh Prasad Agarwal (58) — were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a period of three years each for the offences of criminal conspiracy (IPC Section 120-B) and cheating (IPC Section 420) and 65-year-old S K Kanungo, chief manager (marketing) of Hari Machines Ltd (HML), was jailed for a period of two years for the offence punishable under IPC Section 120-B.

Special judge Bharat Parashar imposed a fine of Rs 75 lakh on PSPL and Rs 40 lakh each on Gyanchand and Umesh. The court directed Kanungo to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh. “Of late, the anti-social activities of persons of the upper socioeconomic strata of the society in their occupation and which have come to be known as ‘white collar crimes’ have attracted attention… Such 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 court said.