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Coal scam: Aditya Birla group's Hindalco Industries hit by corruption charge

Oct 15 2013, 19:05 IST
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None of the companyís coal blocks are stuck because of the 'coalgate' scam: Kumar Mangalam Birla Reuters photo None of the companyís coal blocks are stuck because of the 'coalgate' scam: Kumar Mangalam Birla Reuters photo
SummaryKumar Mangalam Birla said Hindalco not involved in coal scam.

The coal block allocation scam has taken a sensational turn with CBI registering a corruption case against Aditya Birla Group chief Kumar Mangalam Birla and former Coal Secretary P C Parekh in connection with alleged irregularities in allocation of coal blocks in 2005.

More than that, reports indicate CBI is conducting raids on the premises of the company in various cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bhubaneshwar.

The 46-year-old head of the Aditya Birla group, Kumar Mangalam Birla, will be called in for questioning, CBI sources said.

The $40 billion (about Rs. 2.45 lakh crore) conglomerate has denied receiving any FIR and refuted allegations of any wrongdoing.

CBI registered the 14th FIR in the high profile coal block allocation scam and has named Kumar Mangalam Birla in the chargesheet that specifically mentions cheating and forgery.

On Tuesday, Hindalco Industries shares are among the top losers on the Indian stock markets.

CBI sources said the agency has booked Kumar Mangalam Birla as a representative of Aditya Birla Group and his group company Hindalco Industries for alleged corruption in the allocation of Talabira coal block in Odisha which was allotted to it on November 10, 2005.

The block was allocated for power production during 25th meeting of screening committee, they said.

"CBI registers a fresh case in alleged irregularities in coal scam against the then Coal Secretary, M/s Hindalco, representative of Adita Birla Group, unknown persons and officials," agency spokesperson Kanchan Prasad said.

Parekh, who was Coal Secretary at the time of this allocation, faces charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act as also criminal conspiracy and other offences.

CBI has been at the receiving end in the Supreme Court which has pased tough questions on why coal fields were allocated to private players without a transparent bidding process, the slow pace of probe as also on missing files.

The Centre had on August 29 faced the ire of the Supreme Court on missing files on Coalgate and for not sharing information with CBI and was directed to hand over relevant documents within two weeks to the agency which would also probe disappearance of certain vital papers.

Holding that the missing documents are vital for the probe in the scam, the apex court had directed the Coal Ministry to lodge complaint with the CBI if it fails to trace any documents, sought by the agency.

The apex court had observed that the agency was still in the "first

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