'FIR against Kumar Mangalam Birla will dent industry confidence'
New Delhi: India Inc Wednesday rallied behind industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla, who has been named in an FIR in coal scam case, saying such a step will dent its confidence.
"Kumar Mangalam Birla is a very reputed industrialist and comes from an iconic family. The industry stands by him. This is not a very good thing for the confidence of the industry," President of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry Suman Jyoti Khaitan said.
Questioning the timing of the filing of the FIR, he said: "The allegation against him is about something which happened eight years ago...We wonder what the investigating agency was doing ever since and why they have woken up now."
Expressing similar sentiments, Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said: "I think he was a non-executive chairman at that time and filing an FIR against a person, who is not involved in the day-to-day decision making of the company, will certainly raise a question in the minds of the industry people."
Stating that the CAG reports on 2G and coal scams have severely hurt investments in the country, Rawat said: "We believe that corporates must be respected if they are doing business honestly."
Describing the development as unfortunate, former Infosys board member Mohandas Pai said: "It seems investigating agencies have run amok. Unless one has strong evidence, targeting business leaders will have a bad impact on the economy."
The CBI yesterday filed a case against Birla as a representative of Aditya Birla Group and his group company, aluminium maker Hindalco, for alleged corruption in the allocation of Talabira two coal blocks in Odisha which was allotted to it on November 10, 2005.
The agency also named former Coal Secretary P C Parakh in the FIR on charges of criminal conspiracy and corruption in connection with alleged irregularities in allocation of coal blocks eight years back.