Special court to try Naveen Jindal over alleged coal scam | Reuters

MUMBAI An Indian court on Friday ordered businessman Naveen Jindal to face trial on charges of criminal conspiracy over an alleged scam involving government allocations of coalfields.

Naveen Jindal is chairman of Jindal Steel and Power which said in a statement it denied any wrongdoing by the company or its management, adding the coal block allocation to the company had been made on merit.

The special court -- which was set up to hear cases related to the alleged scam -- will specify charges against Jindal on May 11, it said in an order seen by Reuters.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which investigates corruption in India, declined to comment.

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.

In 2014, the Supreme Court of India revoked the allocation of more than 200 coal blocks 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 Chhattisgarh to JSW Energy Ltd, run by Naveen's elder brother Sajjan Jindal.

($1 = 66.5175 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Promit Mukherjee and Suchitra Mohanty; Editing by Alexander Smith)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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Updated Date: Apr 29, 2016 23:30:11 IST

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