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Coal block scam: Case against Kumar Mangalam Birla, Parekh dropped

Coal block scam: Case against Kumar Mangalam Birla, Parekh dropped

New Delhi: The CBI has filed a closure report in the coal block allocation scam case against industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla, former coal secretary P.C. Parekh and others in a court here, sources said Friday.

Besides Birla and Parekh, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had named other unknown people as an accused in a first information report lodged in October 2013.

"The evidence collected during investigation did not substantiate the allegations levelled against the persons named in the FIR," the CBI said.

The agency Thursday filed its closure report in the court of Special Judge Bharat Parashar, who will hear the matter Sep 1.

The CBI had booked Birla and the others on charges of criminal conspiracy and corruption in the allocation of coal blocks. The businessman was booked Birla as a representative of the Aditya Birla Group and his group company Hindalco, one of Asia's biggest producers of primary aluminium.

It is alleged in the FIR that during 2005, the accused in criminal conspiracy with one another and then public servants by abusing their positions (and) as such showed undue favour to an Odisha-based industry in allocation of Talabira-II and Talabira-III coal blocks along with a public sector undertaking of Tamil Nadu.

"The decision to accommodate the said firm of Mumbai in Talabira-II coal block in partial modification of the recommendation of the 25th meeting of the Screening Committee was found to be a case of incorporating both the views of the Screening Committee and the government of Odisha, taken in larger interest of the country and in view of the federal framework wherein most of the statutory clearances are accorded by the concerned state government," the CBI said in the closure report.

It said that the Odisha government had also supported the case of the Mumbai firm following an MoU signed with it to set up an aluminium refinery for which a captive power plant was proposed to be set up in the state.

"The allegation that the proposed 2,000 MW power project of the Odisha-based company could not take off as planned on account of accommodating the Mumbai-based company in Talabira-II coal block was also not substantiated by investigation."

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