A special court on Friday granted bail to former coal secretary H C Gupta and four others, including two serving public servants, in a coal blocks allocation scam case.
Special CBI judge Bharat Parashar released on bail Gupta, the then Joint Secretary of Coal K S Kropha, the then Director (Coal Allocation-I section) K C Samaria and two officials of Madhya Pradesh-based company Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd (KSSPL) after they appeared before the court in pursuance to summons issued against them.
The authorised representative of the company, Ankit Gandhi also appeared before the court which directed him to remain present in all the hearings of the case.
The five individuals and the Madhya Pradesh-based company, were summoned as accused by the court on its own after it had refused to accept the CBI's closure report. The individuals moved their bail applications in the court.
The bail pleas, however, were opposed by Special Public Prosecutor R S Cheema on the ground that the court should consider the nature and gravity of the offence and the accused were charged for the offence of criminal breach of trust by public servants which entails a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
The court released Gupta, two senior serving government servants Kropha and Samaria, KSSPL's Managing Director Pavan Kumar Ahluwalia and Chartered Accountant Amit Goyal on bail after furnishing of a personal bond of Rs one lakh each and a surety of like amount.
"Undoubtedly, the CBI in the present case chose to file a closure report but this Court differed with the conclusion so arrived at by the CBI and took cognisance of the offences under sections 120-B/409/420 IPC and also for the offence under section 13(1)(d) read with section 13(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act and issued summons to all the above said five accused persons.
"I am of the considered opinion that as there has been no allegation against any of the accused of tampering with the evidence or contacting the witnesses till date...the interest of justice will be suitably met if the accused persons are released on bail upon furnishing a personal bond and a surety bond in the sum of Rs one lakh each, to the satisfaction of this court," the judge said.