Ex-Coal Secy HC Gupta withdraws plea to face trial from jail in Coal scam


New Delhi: Former Coal Secretary HC Gupta, accused in several coal scam cases, on Saturday took a U-turn in New Delhi court by withdrawing his plea seeking to take back his bail bond on the grounds that he had no money to hire a lawyer and would fight the case from jail. 

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Gupta, in his plea, had sought to withdraw his personal bail bond in a case involving MP-based Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd and others and as a result, his bail would have got cancelled. However, the former bureaucrat today apologised and withdrew his application filed on August 16. Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar allowed Gupta's plea to withdraw the application in which he had submitted that he was facing financial constraints and could not manage the advocate's fees from his pension.

In his plea, Gupta today said he wanted to withdraw the earlier application as he was advised by public servants and retired officers to follow the legal procedure. "A large number of distinguished public servants, including those who retired at the highest levels in their respective services have advised me to follow the normal legal procedure and practices in such cases.

"They have also pointed out the larger implications of my earlier decision for the overall system of governance and advised me to take back the application. A number of well- wishers have also similarly advised me to withdraw the application," Gupta said in his fresh plea.

He also expressed gratitude towards the court for explaining to him the legal aspects and offering him free legal aid, saying, "Your honour has been kind enough to ask me to reconsider the decision to facilitate better adherence to the due process of law and had kindly offered to arrange legal counsel free of cost from legal aid or at state expense."

"You (judge) had taken the trouble to explain various aspects to me in detail and had also spoken to my family in this regard," he said, adding "I have reconsidered my earlier application in the light of the above and being mindful of your views and also of those public servants and well-wishers, I have decided to withdraw the submissions in this regard made by me on August 16." In his earlier application, moved on August 16, Gupta had said he did not wish to examine any witness in his defence in the case and intended to face the trial from inside the jail.

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