Vijay Darda, two others get bail in coal block case

Vijay Darda, two others get bail in coal block case

A court here Friday granted bail to Rajya Sabha member Vijay Darda and two others in a coal block allocation case.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Madhu Jain granted bail to Vijay Darda, his son Devendra Darda and director of Nagpur-based AMR Iron and Steel Pvt. Ltd. Manoj Jayaswal on a personal bond of Rs.2 lakh and a surety of like amount.

The court asked them not to leave the country without its prior permission.

Vijay Darda, his son and Manoj Jayaswal were summoned by the court May 7 after a charge sheet was filed against them by the CBI March 27. In the charge sheet, the CBI alleged that they had fraudulently acquired the coal blocks.

They were charged under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI, in its FIR, had named AMR Iron and Steel Pvt. Ltd., its directors Arvind Kumar Jayaswal, Manoj Jayaswal, Ramesh Jayaswal and Devendra Darda along with unnamed officials of the coal ministry and some unidentified persons as accused in the case.

Regarding AMR Iron and Steel Pvt. Ltd., the CBI had said the firm, in its application form for allocation of coal blocks, had "fraudulently" concealed the fact that its group companies had previously been allocated five coal blocks.

Detailing the allocation of coal blocks to AMR Iron and Steel Pvt. Ltd., the agency had said the ministry of coal had invited applications for allocation of coal blocks, including Bander coal block in Maharashtra having geological reserve of 126.105 million metric tonnes (MMT).

The CBI had said the 36th Screening Committee, which is headed by the coal secretary, after concluding its deliberations July 3, 2008, recommended allocation of Bander coal block jointly to J.K. Cement Ltd, M/s Century Textiles and Industries Ltd. and AMR Iron and Steel Pvt. Ltd. for their proposed plants in Karnataka and Maharashtra respectively.

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