While seeking bail, the counsel appearing for Rao told Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar that the then Prime Minister also held the Coal portfolio at that time and his client had nothing to do with the allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand to Naveen Jindal group firms.
"The decision regarding final allocation was taken by the Minister of Coal, who was the then Prime Minister. I (Rao) had nothing to do with it," his counsel said.
"Being the Minister of State for Coal, he (Rao) only forwarded the notes. The decision was taken by the Prime Minister Office (PMO) not by me (Rao)," he told the court. Similarly, former Coal Secretary H C Gupta sought bail saying he, as the chairman of Screening Committee, only forwarded the recommendations to the then coal minister.
"Being the Chairman of the screening committee, I (Gupta) was required to forward the recommendations to the Coal Minister, who was the then Prime Minister. Screening committee was only a recommending body," Gupta's advocate said.
After the arguments on the bail plea of the 10 individual accused, the court granted bail to them on a personal bond of Rs one lakh each with one surety of the like amount. Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal, Rao, former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and seven others were granted bail by the court.

The special court had earlier summoned Manmohan Singh and others as accused in a separate coal block allocation case. The summoning order was later stayed by the Supreme Court.

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