New Delhi, October 15: A Delhi Court Special Judge Bharat Parashar on Monday provided a big relief to industrialist and Congress leader Naveen Jindal and 14 others by granting them bail in a case in which they are accused of money laundering.
The case pertains to the alleged irregularities in the allocation of the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand.
However, the Court while granting bail directed the accused to submit a personal bond of Rs. 1 lakh along with a surety of the like amount as well.
The Court also granted bail to other accused in the case including Anand Goel, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd.’s the-then advisor, Sushil Kumar Maroo, Mumbai’s Essar Power Ltd.’s executive vice-chairman, B.S.N. Suryanarayan, Nihar Stocks Ltd.’s director, Rajeev Aggarwal, KE International’s chief financial officer and Siddharth Madra, Gurgaon-based Green Infra’s vice-president, besides Naveen Jindal.
The case against the accused was filed under the stringent provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand was allocated to Jindal Group in 2008, and came under radar in 2012, when Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) audit report revealed that the country lost up to Rs. 1.86 lakh crore due to inefficient coal blocks allocation.
The probing agency had filed a chargesheet against Jindal, his company JSPL, Gagan Infra and others for allegedly influencing the screening committee for allotment of the coal block by making an investment of more than Rs. 2 crore in illegal gratification and also stating that Dasari Narayana Rao, the-then coal minister, had given a favorable note in 2007 to the coal secretary HC Gupta, who was the Chairman of the 35th Screening Committee, despite lack of recommendations from the concerned ministries.
On August 14, summons were issued against Jindal and 14 others for alleged money laundering case, directing them to appear before the Court on October 15. The Court while summoning them clarified that prima facie there were enough evidence to summon them as an accused in the coal scam.
All accused were booked under section 120B for criminal conspiracy of Indian Penal Code(IPC) and section 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, which attracts maximum punishment of seven years.