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The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Thursday granted regular bail to five persons, including Jindal Steel's advisor Anand Goel, in a coal block allocation case against former Congress MP Naveen Jindal and others. Special Judge Bharat Parashar also granted bail to then JSPL's Deputy Manager (Finance) Siddharth Madra, Deputy General Manager Rajeev Aggarwal, Director (Finance) Sushil Kumar Maroo and Nihar Stocks Limited Director BSN Suryanarayan. The court has directed the accused persons not to tamper with evidence, nor to influence witnesses. On March 24, after considering the chargesheet, the court issued summons to the accused. The CBI had opposed the bail plea of the accused persons. The court has taken cognizance of the offences of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and cheating under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), as well as criminal misconduct under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The CBI has alleged that the five persons were actively involved in the transfer of Rs 2 crore from Jindal Realty, New Delhi Exim, to Sowbhagya Media Ltd (SML). The CBI also alleged that the money was transferred to Sowbhagya Media, a company controlled by former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayana Rao, in lieu of showing favour in the allotment of Jharkhand's Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to Jindal Steel and Gagan Sponge. The final investigation report was filed on the basis of a statement given by a prosecution witness-- Chartered Accountant and New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd Director Suresh Singhal-- who has turned approver in the case. The court was hearing the case related to the allocation of Jharkhand's Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to Jindal Steel and Gagan Sponge. Besides Congress MP and industrialist Jindal, former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayana Rao, former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, and former Coal Secretary HC Gupta are accused in the case. The CBI filed a chargesheet against Jindal, Koda, Rao and Gupta in April 2015. The other accused include Jindal Realty Director Rajeev Jain, Gagan Sponge Directors Girish Kumar Juneja and R. K.
Saraf, and Sowbhagya Media's Managing Director K. Ramakrishna.Of the five private companies named in the chargesheet, four are based in Delhi and one in Hyderabad. The accused have denied the charges.