HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Radia tapes: CBI closes probe against Madhu Koda

Abhishek Sharan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 26, 2014
First Published: 00:50 IST(26/4/2014) | Last Updated: 00:52 IST(26/4/2014)

In a relief to former chief minister of Jharkhand, Madhu Koda, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has closed its probe into irregularities allegedly indicated in intercepted conversations between him and former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia due to lack of adequate material evidence.

“The probe could not get sufficient evidence that could have stood any court’s scrutiny against those suspected of irregularities, so we have closed the probe,” confirmed a CBI official.

The probe against Koda, Radia and unknown Jharkhand government officials was initiated after the CBI lodged a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) on October 22, 2013, over allegations that Koda had asked for a bribe of Rs. 150 crore from a private firm for issuing the license for an iron ore mine, said the official. The mine was located at Ankua in the state’s Singhbhum district.

“It was alleged that the private firm had however rejected Koda’s bribe demand. The firm eventually obtained the state government’s license in 2009, when there was President’s rule in the state,” said the official, adding, “We probed allegations that certain state government officials had deliberately kept on hold the decision on the issuance of the license to the firm for extraneous reasons, till it got issued finally.”

The agency had probed allegations that Radia had lobbied for the issuance of the license.

CBI had recently submitted its status report related to the 14 probes in the apex court and informed that it had found no criminality in them.  “The agency may close the other 13 PE soon as well,” the official said.

A news channel journalist and a senior executive of a leading newspaper group have already been examined by the agency in connection.

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