NEW DELHI: Former Union Minister of State for Coal Dilip Ray, the first minister of the erstwhile NDA government who was summoned as an accused in a coal scam case, was today granted bail by a special court here.
Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar granted bail to Ray, who was a minister in 1999 in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, and five others after they appeared before the court in pursuance of the summons issued to them.
Besides Ray, two senior officials of the Ministry of Coal (MoC) at that time, Pradip Kumar Banerjee and Nitya Nand Gautam were also granted bail. The court also granted bail to Castron Technologies Ltd (CTL) director Mahendra Kumar Agarwalla.
The bail was granted on a personal bond of Rs one lakh and one surety of like amount. The court has now fixed the matter for April 1 for the scrutiny of documents. The court had on January 18 summoned Ray as an accused in the case which pertains to the alleged irregularities in the allocation of Brahmadiha coal block in Giridih in Jharkhand to CTL in 1999.
Besides Ray, the court had also summoned Banerjee, Gautam, Castron Technologies Ltd (CTL), its director Mahendra Kumar Agarwalla and Castron Mining Ltd (CML) as accused in the case. While summoning Ray and the other accused, the court had noted that the then public servants had prima facie abused their official positions and "there was a concerted effort by way of criminal conspiracy to facilitate misappropriation of the important nationalised natural resources of the country i.e. coal by M/s CTL and M/s CML".
It had also said the accused public servants had "in fact actively connived with the private parties involved so as to facilitate misappropriation of the nationalised natural resources of the country by them". Banerjee was the then Additional Secretary in MoC while Gautam was Advisor (Projects) in the ministry.
The court which took cognisance of the CBI's charge sheet, had summoned the accused for the alleged offences under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust) of IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act.