Dilip Ray, former minister of state (coal) in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) governed by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, has been sentenced to three-year imprisonment for the infamous coal scam. He was convicted for irregular allocation of a Jharkhand coal block in 1999.

Earlier, a Delhi court had heard the arguments from the convicts and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) but reserved its verdict for October 26.

Ministry of Coal senior officials Pradip Kumar Banerjee and Nitya Nand Gautam were also convicted for the scam along with Castron Technologies Ltd’s (CTL) director Mahendra Kumar Agarwalla.

However, Ray was convicted under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),  including code 409 that mentions a criminal breach of trust while holding a public service.

“I am very surprised at conviction under section 409 of the IPC as the same court in the past has acquitted people in 409 IPC in view of three-judge bench judgement of Supreme Court. However, I welcome sentence not being harsh of three years having been imposed by the court,” Vijay Aggarwal, advocate who represented the convicts, said as quoted by Hindustan Times.