Former coal secretary HC Gupta was granted bail on Tuesday in one of the several cases against him in connection with coal block allocations made by the former Congress government. The bail petitions filed by six other accused were also accepted by the bench, reported PTI.

This particular case is about the allocation of Fatehpur coal block in Chhattisgarh to SKS Ispat and Power Ltd. The court set the personal bail bond at Rs 1 lakh each and sureties of the same amount. The next date of hearing is March 23.

All seven accused have been charged with forgery, cheating, criminal conspiracy and criminal misconduct. The Central Bureau of Investigation had said in its chargesheet that the accused conspired to mislead the screening committee so that the company gets the contract.

In August 2016, Gupta had said that he would not engage a lawyer, instead he would face the trail from prison, because he could not afford one. His refusal to take any legal help in the case drew attention from the Indian Administrative Services fraternity, who held meetings to discuss the issue. They also reached out to Gupta and offered him help. The senior bureaucrat, however, later agreed to pay for his legal representation, and withdrew the application he had filed in court.

The agency has named Gupta in at least eight chargesheet in connection with the case. The Supreme Court has rejected peitions seeking direction to conduct the proceedings together.