There has been a huge flurry around HC Gupta’s recent letter withdrawing his bond for bail:
Coal block allocation case: Govt should recognise honest officers, protect them, says Ex-coal secy
Jail me, I can’t afford to hire lawyers, says ex-coal secretary HC Gupta
Coal scam: Accused former Coal Secy HC Gupta seeks withdrawal of bail bond, wants to face trial from inside jail
Before I comment, let me provide his letter, below:
IN THE COURT OF SHRI BHARAT PARASHAR, SPECIAL JUDGE (P C. ACT) (CBI) – 7, NEW DELHI DISTRICT.
R C.NO. 219 2012 E 0016
CBI VS. M/s Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd. And Others
U/S. 120-B r/w S420 IPC, S 409 IPC., S. 13(1)(C) and S.13(1)0) P.C. Act 198
SUBJECT: Prayer on behalf of the accused H.C.GUPTA
I submit as under:
1. I hereby withdraw with immediate effect personal bond submitted for my release on bail.
2. I have decided to withdraw the authorization letter in favor of Shri B.S Mathur, advocate, as I shall not be having any advocate to represent me from now on.
Reasons for the above decisions are given in the enclosed note. It is requested that action as considered appropriate may be ordered.
1. Reason for withdrawing bond for bail
a) Let me clarify right in the beginning that whatever I did as Chairperson of the Screening committee or as secretary Coal was done with a clear conscience. Even today I firmly believe that whatever was done in allocation of the Coal Block by me was. done in the good faith with the objective of increasing the coil production. I have always maintained highest level of integrity throughout my service career. I also believe that Coal Block allocation was no scam. Screening Committee did its job with sincerity and in good faith.
b) However, I find that general impression is that it was a big scam where there was large scale corruption. Supreme Court, CBI, Special Judge and perhaps the present Government also seem to be convinced that most of these allocations were done in a manner which involved corruption and conspiracy.
c) I have been interacting with the investigating officers of CBI for last three years and have tried to explain my actions I find that despite this, in many cases they think that I am guilty of corrupt practices under the provisions of P.C. Act 1988. I have no reason to believe that they are in any manner biased against me. In fact all of them have been very nice to me during investigation.
d) I have read the order of this Court in this case by which I have been made an accused along with others. In many other cases also I have been made an accused along with others. Some more cases appear to be in different stages where I will be an accused. From the reading of these orders the Judge seems to be convinced that I am guilty of conspiracy and corruption. Again I have no reason to think that the Judge is in anyway biased against me.
e) It is true that in all these cases I have not understood the logic behind the view taken by the CBI and the orders of the Special Court. They seem to be looking for and trying to interpret the documents for prosecutable evidence rather than trying to ascertain the truth. However, that by itself cannot be the reason for me to believe that they are biased against me. They must have their own reasons for drawing their conclusions.
f) I have always tried to maintain highest level of integrity and propriety during my entire service career as also in my personal life. During the entire service career my effort has been to maintain my conduct and integrity at such a level that no one should raise a finger on my actions. Words like conspiracy, corruption, criminal misconduct or dishonest action are totally alien to me. I cannot even imagine being involved in any of such acts, yet I find that I am being accused of conspiracy, corruption and criminal misconduct by responsible organization like CBI and by the Special Judge. They allege that I misguided the then Prime Minister.
Let me clarify that I would be the last person to even have thought of doing so. These allegations are absolutely shocking — to say the least. This has persuaded me to withdraw the personal bond. I have been thinking of taking this decision for last more than one year (since the time I was made an accused in the first Coal case). It has taken me so long because perhaps I was scared of following the path which now I have decided to take, Also perhaps there was a hope that as the cases progress, the judge will realize that I have not been involved in any conspiracy or corruption. However, this has not happened.
g) I will try to explain my actions during the course of trial. However, it is quite possible that at the end of the trial the court may find me guilty. This will not change the truth as far as I am concerned. However, if that happens I would like to be punished with most severe penalty/punishment.
h) For me one approach could be to remain on bail and deal with the case in normal manner. However, my conscience tells me not to do so. I am an elderly man suffering with many diseases. It is quite possible that I may not survive the period of trial getting completed. I will not like anyone to think that I escaped punishment because of the time taken in trial.
i) From the orders of Special Judge that I have read so far in these cases where I have been made accused it appears to me that by that logic I will be made accused in almost every case where FIR has been registered. Perhaps I will have largest number of cases of corruption and conspiracy against me. This, in itself is good enough reason to withdraw the personal bail bond.
j) And finally the most important reason, I am a total believer in God and destiny. While we do our duty the result is always in hands of God. We should accept everything as God’s blessings. My inner voice tells, me that perhaps it is the wish of God that I should stay in Jail. Perhaps I will at peace with myself by following this course of action.
Why no advocate
a) First of all I would like to express my gratitude to my advocate Shri B.S. Mathur who has represented me in all the cases of Coal Block allocation where I am an accused. In fact he has been extremely considerate in respect of his fee.
b) The way I have been made an accused in cases so far I am quite sure that there will be many more cases in which I will be made an accused. There is no way in which I can pay the fee of an advocate in all these cases. Government gives pension which is good enough to live a retired life but there is no way that fee of advocates can be paid in such large number of cases from pension. Moreover, I do not want to have an advocate whose fee I cannot pay. I do not want to take such an obligation at this stage of my life.
c) I do not want to face these cases on the basis of legal technicalities. I shall try to bring out the facts as known to me during the trial and then leave the rest to the Judge who I believe knows the law and does not need an advocate to enlighten him. Most of these cases are document based where there is not much dispute about the documents and so an advocate may not have much to contribute.
d) Even otherwise I believe that objective of every criminal case is to find the truth. Effort of every one — the investigator, the prosecutor, the Judge and even the accused should be to cooperate in this venture. Such being the situation, I do not think that there is any need for an advocate to represent me.
e) These days my relatives and friends are trying to help me financially and have done so. My well-wishers and friends are suggesting ways to raise resources to contest these cases. While I am grateful to them, these things are not acceptable to me and this causes more pain to me.
f) During the coal block allocations there were officers who worked with me or interacted with me. I know that many of these officers have unimpeachable integrity. Many of them are facing trials now. I would urge the Government to think of these officers who are still in service and are facing trials. They have no money to hire the services of advocates. I think it is time the Government recognizes its honest officers and protects them rather than prosecuting them.
MY SECOND POST ON THIS MATTER:
HC Gupta (IAS 1971 RR, UP cadre) and the Coal Block scam – preliminary analysis #2 August 18, 2016