New Delhi: Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal, former union minister Dasari Narayan Rao and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, who appeared in a Delhi court in connection with a coal scam case, were granted protection from arrest but asked not to leave the country.
Mr Jindal, Mr Rao, Mr Koda and 12 others were granted bail on a personal bond of Rs one lakh.
They were all summoned today over alleged irregularities in the allocation of a coal mining block in Jharkhand.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had said in a chargesheet that to win a coal block allocation for his firm, Mr Jindal promised support to Madhu Koda, an independent legislator who ruled in 2006-2008 with support from the Congress and other parties.
The court has said that Mr Jindal had "manipulated" the entire government machinery to score a coal block allotment in Jharkhand. It also observed that the CBI's charge sheet showed Mr Jindal had played a "pivotal role" in the conspiracy to get a coal block allotted to his firms Jindal Steel and Power Ltd and Gagan Sponge Iron.
The company has denied the allegations.
The massive irregularities in allocation of coal blocks came to light in 2012 after the national auditor said Rs. 1.86 lakh crore had been lost as the blocks had been distributed without a transparent bidding process.
Most of these allocations have been made by the erstwhile UPA government. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had also been summoned in one of the cases, received a reprieve from the Supreme Court in April.
Last year, the Supreme Court declared nearly 300 coal licenses issued since 1993 as illegal. After coming to power, the Narendra Modi government has auctioned 32 coal blocks.