MUMBAI- Businessman Naveen Jindal will be facing trial on charges of criminal conspiracy over an alleged scam involving government allocations of coalfields, as ordered by an Indian court on Friday, noting that the special court — which was set up to hear cases related to the alleged scam — will specify charges against Jindal on May 11.
Jindal Steel and Power, where Naveen Jindal fulfills the role of its chairman, denied in a statement any wrongdoing by the company or its management, adding the coal block allocation to the company had been made on merit.
Responsible of investigating corruption in India, The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) declined to comment.
However the Indian federal police have been investigating suspected collusion between government officials and private companies in under-priced sales of coalfields, which the state auditor said in 2012 might have cost India some $33 billion in lost revenue.
Recalling that theSupreme Court of India revoked the allocation of more than 200 coal blocks in 2014 which were sold by the government. Jindal Steel and Power’s stock closed 6.6 percent lower following news of the court order, after falling by as much 10 percent in a Mumbai market that was little changed on Friday.
The company, which is looking to sell assets to pare its $7 billion debts, has been in talks to sell a power plant in eastern India to JSW Energy Ltd, run by Naveen’s elder brother Sajjan Jindal.