Five granted interim bail in Jindal’s coal block case

New Delhi, April 10

A court here on Monday granted interim bail to five persons, among them Jindal Steel’s advisor Anand Goel, in a coal block allocation case against former Congress MP Naveen Jindal and others.

The five accused appeared before Special Judge Bharat Parashar on a summons issued against them, and moved their bail application.

On March 24, after considering the chargesheet, Special Judge Parashar issued summons to Goel, Gurgaon-based Green Infra’s Vice President Siddharth Madra, Mumbai-based KE International’s Chief Financial Officer Rajeev Aggarwal, Nihar Stocks Limited Director B.S.N. Suryanarayan, and Mumbai’s Essar Power Limited Executive Vice Chairman Sushil Kumar Maroo to appear before him on April 10.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) opposed the bail plea of five accused persons.

The court, however, granted them interim bail till the next date of hearing, fixed for May 4, and asked them to furnish a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh each.

The court has taken cognizance of the offences of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and cheating under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as criminal misconduct under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

According to court sources, the CBI has alleged that the five persons were actively involved in the transfer of Rs 2 crore from Jindal Realty, New Delhi Exim, to Sowbhagya Media Ltd (SML).

The CBI also alleged that the money was transferred to Sowbhagya Media, a company controlled by former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayana Rao, in lieu of showing favour in the allotment of Jharkhand’s Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to Jindal Steel and Gagan Sponge.

The final investigation report was filed on the basis of a statement given by a prosecution witness — Chartered Accountant and New Delhi Exim Pvt. Ltd. Director Suresh Singhal — who has turned approver in the case.

The court was hearing the case related to the allocation of Jharkhand’s Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to Jindal Steel and Gagan Sponge.

Besides Congress MP and industrialist Jindal, former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayana Rao, former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, and former Coal Secretary H.C. Gupta are accused in the case.

The CBI filed a chargesheet against Jindal, Koda, Rao and Gupta in April 2015.

The other accused include Jindal Realty Director Rajeev Jain, Gagan Sponge Directors Girish Kumar Juneja and R.K. Saraf, and Sowbhagya Media’s Managing Director K. Ramakrishna.

Of the five private companies named in the chargesheet, four are based in Delhi and one in Hyderabad.

The accused has denied the charges. (IANS)

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