NEW DELHI: Former coal secretary and four others, including two serving government officials, were today granted bail by a Special Court in connection with a coal blocks allocation scam case.
The five accused including H C Gupta and two senior serving government servants K S Kropha and K C Samaria appeared before the court in pursuance to the summons issued against them and sought bail in the case.
After hearing the arguments, Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar granted bail to all the accused.
Besides Gupta, the then Joint Secretary, Kropha, and the then Director (Coal Allocation-I section), Samaria, Managing Director of Madhya Pradesh-based firm Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd (KSSPL) Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia, Chartered Accountant Amit Goyal and authorised representative of the company appeared before the court.
All of them were already summoned as accused for offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 420 (cheating) under the IPC. Only Gupta has been summoned before the offences punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The court had summoned them as accused in the case while refusing to accept the closure report filed by the CBI in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal block to KSSPL.
The court had yesterday allowed CBI to carry out further probe in the case, saying the agency may place records of the case before the authorities for grant of sanction to prosecute the public servants.
The court had also asked CBI to file a progress report of its further investigation on December 15 and said the agency should be at a liberty to probe any other aspect of the matter if found necessary by them.
On October 13, the court had summoned six accused including Gupta, Samaria, Kropha and KSSPL.
Refusing to accept the CBI's closure report, the special court had observed that the probe carried out by it was "sketchy" and its conclusion "apparently wrong".
The court, in its detailed order had noted that no cognisance of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act could be taken against Kropha and Samaria for want of sanction as they are still in government service.
The case pertains to alleged misrepresenting of facts, including inflated net worth, by KSSPL to acquire Thesgora-B/ Rudrapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh.
According to CBI, KSSPL had allegedly given false statement about its annual turnover for two financial years that is 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 in their application form while applying for coal block allocation.
CBI had earlier told the court that officials of KSSPL had furnished unaudited balance sheet and had allegedly inflated its capacity to produce sponge iron by 25 per cent.