New Delhi | A Delhi Court today granted bail to Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL) Chairman Naveen Jindal, former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, former Minister of state for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao, former coal secretary H C Gupta and six others in the coal block allocation case.
The accused were summoned by the court in the case pertaining to the alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand to two Jindal group firms, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd (GSIPL).
Besides Jindal, Rao, Koda and Gupta, the other accused who were granted bail are Suresh Singhal, Director of New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd, Rajeev Jain, Director of Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, Girish Kumar Suneja and Radha Krishna Saraf, both directors of Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd (GSIPL), K Ramakrishna Prasad, Managing Director of Sowbhagya Media Ltd and Chartered Accountant Gyan Swaroop Garg.
The CBI in its chargesheet in the case has alleged that Jindal had promised Congress support to the then unstable Madhu Koda government in Jharkhand in return for a recommendation for allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to his group firms.
Koda, then an independent MLA, was Chief Minister of Jharkhand from September 14, 2006 to August 23, 2008 with the support of Congress, RJD and others.
The court had observed while summoning the accused, that Jindal had prima facie manipulated the entire government machinery to procure undue coal block allotment in Jharkhand.
The court had said that prima facie offences under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 420 (cheating) of the IPC read with section 13(1)(c) and 13(1)(d) (criminal misconduct by a public servant) of the Prevention of Corruption Act were made out against all the 15 accused.
The court had said that substantive offence of cheating was prima facie made out against Jindal, Saraf, Suneja, JSPL and Gagan Infraenergy Ltd.
The court had said substantive offences under Section 409 of IPC and section 13(1)(c)/13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) were also prima facie made out against Rao and Gupta while substantive offence under section 13(1)(d) of PCA was prima facie made out against Koda.
Senior Advocate Ramesh Gupta, appearing for Jindal, told the court that his client had joined the investigation as and when called by the CBI and there was no apprehension that he would abscond or flee from justice.The counsel representing other nine individual accused told the court that their clients were not arrested during the investigation and there was no likelihood that any one of them will abscond.
The Prosecution opposed the bail pleas saying the accused in the case are high profile industrialists and politicians and most of the prosecution witnesses are their employees and could influence the witnesses or tamper with the evidence if released on bail.
Special judge Bharat Parashar after hearing the arguments granted bail to all the 10 accused individuals on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh each with one surety of the like amount. The accused have been directed not to leave the country without the court’s permission and fixed the date for further hearing on June 1.
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