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New Delhi: Hindalco Industries Ltd. chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, speaking publicly for the first time after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) named him in an FIR in a coal allocation case, on Friday said the company has done no wrong and he is not worried about the fallout on the group’s application for a bank licence.

The noted industrialist spoke after meeting finance minister P. Chidambaram and revenue secretary Sumit Bose in the North Block office.

“As of now, I am not worried about it. There is nothing wrong (that) has been done, so why should one worry?" he told reporters when asked if the CBI FIR would cast a shadow on the Aditya Birla Group’s application for a bank licence.

Birla said he discussed the CBI FIR with the minister. “I obviously brought this up with FM...So many other things to talk about...work goes on. We are in so many other industries. There are so many other things to discuss with him," he said.

The CBI has lodged a case against Birla and former coal secretary P.C. Parakh on charges of criminal conspiracy and corruption in connection with alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks eight years ago.

The investigating agency alleged in its FIR that after rejection of Hindalco’s plea in 2005, Birla wrote two letters and held a “personal meeting" with then coal secretary Parakh, after which a decision was reversed and Hindalco was given a coal block that was meant for two public sector undertakings—Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. and Neyveli Lignite Corp. Ltd.

CBI sources said Birla had written to the Prime Minister’s Office, which forwarded the letter to the coal ministry. The investigating agency n Thursday claimed to have made a fresh recovery of documents from Aditya Birla Group, which included retail invoices of gold coins totalling Rs94 lakh, investments in various schemes to the tune of Rs17 lakh, besides Rs24 lakh in petty cash. PTI

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