Today, Former Minister of State for Coal Santosh Bagrodia was granted bail by a Special Court in connection with a coal scam case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Bander coal block in Maharashtra.
Bagrodia appeared as accused before Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar a day after the Supreme Court refused to grant him exemption from personal appearance before the trial court. The former minister, through his counsel Senior Advocate N Hariharan, moved an application seeking bail in the case.
The court enlarged Bagrodia on bail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh with one surety of like amount. “Keeping in view the overall facts and circumstances of the case coupled with the submissions made, I admit accused Santosh Bagrodia to bail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh with one surety of like amount,” the judge said. During the hearing, the investigating officer told the court that he would supply the hard copies of the document filed along with the final report to the accused person today itself.
The court has now fixed the matter for scrutiny of documents on September 29. Besides Bagrodia, Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda, his son Devendra Darda, former Coal Secretary H C Gupta, retired public servant L S Janoti, AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd and its director Manoj Kumar Jaiswal are accused in the case. Other than Bagrodia, the court had earlier granted bail to the rest of the accused in the case.
The court had summoned them as accused after taking cognisance of alleged offences punishable under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) under IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act. In its January 30 order, the court had observed that Bagrodia, Gupta and Janoti had allegedly committed criminal misconduct and facilitated accused firm AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd in unlawfully obtaining the coal block.
The charge sheet was filed against the accused on May 27, last year for alleged the offences under IPC and PC Act. 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 firms had previously been allocated five coal blocks.
(Source – PTI)