Coal scam: Interim bail to 5 fresh accused

Coal-ScamA special court here today granted interim bail till May 4 to five fresh accused named by the CBI in its supplementary charge sheet in a coal scam case against Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal and others.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar granted the interim bail to accused- Jindal Steel’s adviser Anand Goel, Gurgaon-based Green Infra’s Vice-President Siddharth Madra, Nihar Stocks Ltd Director BSN Suryanarayan, Mumbai-based KE International’s Chief Financial Officer Rajeev Aggarwal and Mumbai’s Essar Power Ltd Executive Vice-Chairman Sushil Kumar Maroo – on a personal bond of Rs one lakh and one surety of the like amount each. The case pertains to allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand.

During the hearing, the CBI opposed the regular bail plea of two of the five accused persons – Goel and Maroo – alleging that they tried to hamper the investigation and threatened witness Suresh Singhal in the case. The court has now put up the matter for hearing on whether to grant regular bail to these accused in the light of CBI’s fresh allegations after counsel for both the accused sought time to argue on this point, saying they were not supplied with related documents in the case.

It will also hear regular bail pleas of Madra, Aggarwal and Suryanarayan which were not opposed by the CBI. The names of these five persons were revealed by Singhal, a chartered accountant, who was earlier chargesheeted by the CBI as accused in the case.

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The court had summoned the five new persons as accused after taking cognisance of the supplementary charge sheet filed by the CBI on March 24. Besides Jindal, the case also involves former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao and ex-Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda. The court had earlier directed the agency to expeditiously file its further probe report.

CBI had alleged that Koda had favoured Jindal group firms — Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd (GSIPL) — in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand. All the accused had denied the allegations levelled against them and said there was no evidence to show that there was any conspiracy during the coal block allocation process.

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