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Coalgate: CBI files probe report before apex court

Agencies  New Delhi, October 22, 2013
First Published: 14:34 IST(22/10/2013) | Last Updated: 15:59 IST(22/10/2013)

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday filed a report before the Supreme Court on its investigation of the alleged illegal allocation of coal blocks.

Television news channels said the report was given to the court in a sealed cover and has details of its first information report (FIR) against Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the Aditya Birla Group. It also tells the court about files which went missing from the coal ministry. The court will examine the CBI's report on October 29.

The Comptroller and Auditor General, India's national auditor, last year alleged that the coal ministry had given away crores of rupees in windfall gains to 100 private and some state-run firms--sparking a CBI probe into whether kickbacks were paid in exchange.

The scandal has rocked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government, with the CBI investigating how the coal ministry, which was headed by Singh from 2004-2009, allocated mining licences.

The CBI last week named Birla, one of country's leading businessmen, as a suspect in its investigation. He was accused of criminal conspiracy along with former coal secretary PC Parakh.

The decision to file a case against Birla was met with protests from business leaders and associations who warned that such actions could harm India's image and scare away foreign investors. Some 14 FIRs--the first step in a police investigation--have been filed during the CBI's probe.

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