New Delhi, Dec 5 (IANS) A Delhi court on Wednesday sentenced former Coal Secretary H.C. Gupta and two other former government officials to three years in jail in a coal block allocation case and said that “white collar crimes” are more dangerous than ordinary crimes.
CBI Special Judge Bharat Parashar also slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on Gupta and former officials K.S. Kropha and K.C. Samria.
However, the court court granted bail to the former government officials and asked them to furnish a personal bond and a surety of Rs 1 lakh each.
The court allowed the plea of the three ex-officials seeking suspension of sentence in order to enable them to appeal in the High Court but directed them not to leave the country.
The court also sentenced Vikash Metal and Power Ltd (VMPL) Managing Director Vikash Patni and authorised signatory Anand Mallick to four years in jail.
The court asked Patni to pay a fine of Rs 25 lakh and imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh on Mallick and sent them to jail.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on VMPL.
In its order, the court said that “white collar crimes” were more dangerous to the society than ordinary crimes because the financial losses were much higher and it also hit public morale.
“The average loss from ordinary crimes such as burglaries, robberies and larcenies may run into few thousand rupees only but the loss which the “white collar crimes” may cause run not only in lakhs but in crores of rupees,” Judge Parashar said.
The court observed that to find criminality in acts committed by “white collar criminals” is often a difficult task because they are committed after much deliberations and planning undertaken by well trained minds having a higher status in the society.
“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.
“However the inevitable result of all the aforesaid acts is the large scale exploitation of the public by the businessmen and professionals in the course of their occupational activities.”
Last week the court convicted all five individual and the company of conspiring to get the Moira-Madhujore coal block of West Bengal in favour of VMPL.
It was the sixth judgment by the Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court that is exclusively dealing with the coal block allocation.
Over 20 other cases probed by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate were still pending.