Hindalco Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla was on Wednesday summoned as an accused in a case linked to the coal scam that saw mining rights being assigned without any transparency to private firms. Mr Birla has been asked to be present in the court on April 8 along with five other accused.
In the context of the Trial Court's order with regard to the allocation of Talabira-II and III coal block, passed today, Hindalco reiterates that none of its officials, including its Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, have pursued any unlawful or inappropriate means for securing the allocation of the coal block. The Company had represented its case to the concerned authorities in a transparent and lawful manner, following which it was allocated a 15% share in the combined Talabira-II and III coal block in November 2005, in a JV with Mahanadi Coalfields Limited and Neyveli Lignite Corporation, both public sector undertakings with an 85% stake. The coal block has since been deallocated in 2014.
Aditya Aluminium Project, for which this allocation was made, has been implemented by the Company at an investment of over Rs 13,000 crore in Odisha. The plant is already operational even though Talabira-II & III coal block could not become operational for want of clearances. Consequently, Hindalco is having to suffer irrecoverable financial stress.
Hindalco will study the order of the Trial Court in detail and would defend its case through the legal process. It has cooperated with the investigating authorities completely during the course of investigation since October 2013. The company's management is confident that it will stand vindicated at the end of the ongoing legal process.