Coal Scam: Delhi HC stays conviction of Ex- Union Minister Dilip Ray to contest elections

New Delhi, Apr 8 (UNI) The Delhi High Court on Monday stayed the conviction of former Union Minister Dilip Ray in connection with a coal scam case related to irregularities in the allocation of a Jharkhand block in 1999, to enable him to contest the upcoming Odisha legislative assembly polls.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma while staying the conviction clarified that ‘the relief is merely a suspension of conviction in peculiar circumstances of the case’.

The Court said that elections are being held this year and Ray who is 71-year-old is contesting. The court said that ‘since multiple appeals and cross-appeals have been filed in the case which will take time to be heard and are not likely to be heard and decided in the near future’.

“In case, the applicant’s prayer is not allowed, he will lose chance to contest election and an irreversible consequence and irreversible damage to his political career will be caused. The desire to serve his constituency will not be fulfilled and grave injustice will be caused to him,” the HC said.

The Court said that ‘this relief does not amount to an acquittal’. The Judge said that Ray has a long political career and considering his age this relief is being granted.

The High Court said that every case is to be decided on the basis of its peculiar circumstances and background and no two cases are similar.

“The conviction of the applicant, recorded on October 06, 2020, shall stand stayed during the pendency of present appeal,” the court said.

Ray was convicted by the Trial Court for the offence punishable under Section 120B, 409 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code, and Section 13(1) (c) or 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. He was sentenced to undergo a sentence of 3 years and payment of a fine.

He has filed appeal against his conviction which will take considerable time to resolve.

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