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Coal scam: Naveen Jindal, DN Rao, Madhu Koda and others get bail

Naveen Jindal, Dasari Narayan Rao, Madhu Koda and 12 others were given bail on personal bond of Rs 1 lakh each.

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal, ex-Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao, former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and 12 others who appeared as accused before a special court in connection with a coal blocks allocation scam case on Friday, were given bail on personal bond of Rs 1 lakh each.

The court has asked all of them not to leave country while fixing June 1 for further hearing in the case.

Meanwhile, JSPL in a statement said, "The court was informed that there was no loss or gain to anyone as no exploration could be undertaken in the said coal block because of intense naxal activities in that area."

"The company has not violated any rules and regulations and allocation was made to the company purely on merit. The company has full faith in judiciary and is confident to come out clean and stand vindicated, upon outcome of the legal process, as there is no substantial case against any accused," it added.

In its charge sheet, CBI 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.

The court had asked them to appear after taking cognisance of the CBI charge sheet filed against them.

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.

While summoning the accused, the court had observed that Jindal had prima facie "manipulated" the entire government machinery to procure undue coal block allotment in Jharkhand.

The judge had earlier observed that the charge sheet filed by the CBI prima facie showed that Jindal had played a "pivotal role" in the conspiracy to procure allotment of the coal block in favour of his two group firms, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd (GSIPL).

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.

After the court had summoned the accused, JSPL in a statement had said: "We deny all allegations made against our company and its management. We will be availing of appropriate remedy in accordance with law. We have full faith in our judiciary and are confident to come out clean during the process."

With PTI Inputs