Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal, former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao, former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, and seven others were today granted bail by a special court in a coal block allocation scam case.

Jindal, Rao, Koda, former Coal Secretary Harish Chandra Gupta, and others appeared as accused before the special CBI Judge Bharat Parasar and moved separate pleas seeking bail.

During the arguments, senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, appearing for Jindal, told the court that his client had joined the investigation as and when called by the CBI and there was no apprehension that he would abscond or flee from justice.

The counsel representing the other nine individuals accused told the court that their clients were not arrested during the investigation and there was no likelihood that any one of them will abscond.

Senior public prosecutor V K Sharma opposed the bail pleas saying the accused in the case are high-profile industrialists and politicians and most of the prosecution witnesses are their employees and could influence the witnesses or tamper with the evidence if released on bail.

The judge, after hearing the submissions, granted bail to the 10 individuals accused, saying, “I deem it admit all 10 accused on bail on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh each with one surety of the like amount.”

The court also directed the accused not to leave India without its prior permission and fixed the matter for further hearing on June 1.

Besides Jindal, Rao, Koda and Gupta, the other accused who were granted bail are Suresh Singhal, Director of New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd; Rajeev Jain, Director of Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd; Girish Kumar Suneja and Radha Krishna Saraf, both Directors of Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd (GSIPL); K Ramakrishna Prasad, Managing Director of Sowbhagya Media Ltd; and chartered accountant Gyan Swaroop Garg.

Besides these 10 accused, the authorised representatives of five accused firms — Jindal Steel and Pvt Ltd (JSPL), Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, Gagan Infraenergy Ltd (formerly known as GSIPL), Sowbhagya Media Ltd, and New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd — also appeared before the court.

The accused were summoned by the court in the case pertaining to the alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand to two Jindal group firms, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd (GSIPL).