Coal scam: Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda, son get bail

Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda, his son and a businessman were on Friday granted bail after they appeared in a coal block allocation case in a Delhi court which had taken cognizance of CBI charge sheet against them.

PTI| Last Updated: May 23, 2014, 16:11 PM IST

New Delhi: Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda, his son and a businessman were on Friday granted bail after they appeared in a coal block allocation case in a Delhi court which had taken cognizance of CBI charge sheet against them.

Special CBI Judge Madhu Jain granted bail to Darda, his son Devendra Darda, Nagpur-based AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd`s Director Manoj Jayaswal on furnishing of a personal bond of Rs two lakh each and a surety of the like amount.

"The accused have fully co-operated with investigation. No purpose would be served by sending them into custody. The bail application is hence allowed," the judge said, though the agency opposed their pleas for relief.

Darda, Devendra and Jayaswal appeared before the court following summons issued on May 7 and moved their bail pleas.
AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd has also been made an accused in the case and was also summoned by the court.

Seeking bail, their counsel said the investigation in the case is still going on and they should be granted the relief as they have not been arrested in the case till now.

The CBI prosecutor, however, opposed their bail pleas saying the allegations levelled against the accused are serious in nature.

He said the accused are influential persons and if granted bail, they would try to win over witnesses and might tamper with evidence.

Countering the prosecutor`s arguments, the defence counsel said investigation in the case is going on from past two-three years and till date his clients have not affected the probe in any manner.

"This is a bald apprehension which is raised by the CBI," he said, adding, "We are law abiding citizens and we are bound by the restrictions imposed by the court of law."
He added that Darda and two others have not breached the summons and have appeared in the court as per its order.

Meanwhile, the court supplied the copy of charge sheet to all the accused and fixed the matter for scrutiny of documents on July 8.

Darda, his son, Jayaswal and the firm were named as accused in the charge sheet filed by the CBI on March 27 in which it had alleged that they had fraudulently acquired the coal blocks.

Darda and three others were chargesheeted for the offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) of the IPC and under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

CBI, in its FIR lodged earlier, had arraigned AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, its directors Arvind Kumar Jayaswal, Manoj Jayaswal, Ramesh Jayaswal and Devendra Darda along with unnamed officials of the Coal Ministry and other unidentified persons as accused in the case.

Regarding AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, CBI had claimed in its FIR that the firm, in its application form for allocation of coal blocks, had "fraudulently" concealed the fact that its group companies had previously been allocated five coal blocks.

Detailing the allocation of coal blocks to AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, the agency had said the Ministry of Coal had invited applications for allocation of coal blocks, including Bander coal block in Maharashtra having geological reserve of 126.105 million metric tonnes (MMT).

CBI had said that the 36th Screening Committee, which is headed by the Coal Secretary, after concluding its deliberations on July 3, 2008, recommended allocation of Bander coal block jointly to JK Cement Ltd, M/s Century Textiles and Industries Ltd and AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd for their proposed plants in Karnataka and Maharashtra respectively.