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In what may come as a huge relief to Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, the CBI is likely to close the coal scam case against him, reports TheEconomic Times today.An official told ET that they hope to close the coal case by March before the new government is sworn in.But why is the CBI in a hurry to close the case against Birla?Only a month back the CBI decided to keep the pressure on Kumar Birla, submitting to the Supreme Court a diary it recovered from the group's offices on October 16.The diary, the CBI had said, contains lists of about 1,000 payments made over a 10-year period to politicians and Members of Parliament across party lines. One more diary recovered by the income tax department sleuths also shows receipts adding up to almost Rs 100 crore.An Indian Express report had noted, "The dates on which these payments have been made, sources said, are around the time of two Lok Sabha elections and several elections of state Assemblies."According to a study by the Associationfor Democratic Reforms and National Reforms,the Aditya Birla Group was the top corporate donor to both the ruling Congress party as well as the opposition Bhartiya Janta Party.The Aditya Birla Group donated the maximum amount of Rs 36.41 crore to the Congress and Rs 26.57 crore to BJP.The CBI had named Birla and former Coal Secretary PC Parakh in an FIR in October last year, charging them with criminal conspiracy and corruption in connection with the allocation of coal blocks eight years ago in the Talabira block, Odisha. The block, meant for PSUs Mahanadi Coalfields and Neyveli Lignite, was eventually allotted to Hindalco.However, the CBI is yet to question Parakh or Birla. And now the report says that Birla may not be questioned at all.Sources in the investigating agency had alleged that Parakh extended undue favour to Birla by overturning a decision of the screening committee that had not recommended allocation of the blocks to aluminium maker Hindalco. The FIR alleged criminal conspiracy by Birla and misuse of position by Parakh.Early in November, Kumar Mangalam Birla met Finance Minister P Chidambaram for the second time in less than three weeks. "As of now, I am not worried about it. There is nothing wrong (that) has been done, so why should one worry? he had told reporters.In December, PTI reported that theCBI was in the process of closing one of the PEs, in which it was probing alleged irregularities in Anil Ambani's ADAG group run Ulta Mega Power Project (UMPP) in Sasan, Madhya Pradesh citing a policy decision vetted by empowered Group of Ministers (eGoM).The preliminary enquiry was registered on the directions of Supreme Court which had asked the CBI to probe 14 issues which included supply of low floor buses by Tata motors to Tamil Nadu government, grant of spectrum and alleged market manipulations and hammering of stocks by Unitech.CBI sources had said it has come to the light that use of surplus coal from the Sasan UMPP was approved on two separate occasions by two EGoMs. They said since it was a policy decision, CBI was not likely to question it.

Followed norms while transferring money to Headley: IndusInd Bank

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Followed norms while transferring money to Headley: IndusInd Bank

New Delhi: Private player IndusInd Bank today said it had followed all regulatory guidelines while handing over cash to the Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Headley."As pe...


Wipro to acquire US-based HealthPlan Services for Rs 3,150 crore

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Wipro to acquire US-based HealthPlan Services for Rs 3,150 crore

New Delhi: Wipro today said it will acquire HealthPlan Services for USD 460 million (about Rs 3,150 crore), a move that will help the country's third-largest software services firm strengthen its posi...

Massive fire at lightning-hit Tata Steel UK plant

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Massive fire at lightning-hit Tata Steel UK plant

London: A massive fire broke out today at Indian steel giant Tata Steel's Port Talbot plant in the UK after it was struck by lightning.Initial investigations have suggested that the blaze, which start...

Doesn't matter how many Bansals Flipkart loses, what matters is what the remaining ones do next

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Doesn't matter how many Bansals Flipkart loses, what matters is what the remaining ones do next

By Abhishek ChhajlaniSilence before the storm, or arrogance before a sinking Titanic!The startup race is cruel, its punishing and its black and white. You go big or you go bust; quite honestly, there ...

Rs 3.13 lakh cr wealth wiped out as Sensex falls 807 pts on global woes, weak banks

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Rs 3.13 lakh cr wealth wiped out as Sensex falls 807 pts on global woes, weak banks

In a massive fall that engulfed the world equity markets, Indian shares mirrored the bearish sentiment mainly battered by continuing concerns about a global economic slowdown and disappointing quarter...

Good news in bad loans: From SBI to PNB, banks are aggresively revealing their NPAs and credit goes to Rajan

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Good news in bad loans: From SBI to PNB, banks are aggresively revealing their NPAs and credit goes to Rajan

The spike in bad loans reported by state-run banks, including State Bank of India (SBI) in the December quarter, has sent panic waves in the stock market.Shares of most of the government banks have be...

Amazon invests in Tata group-owned publishing house Westland

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Amazon invests in Tata group-owned publishing house Westland

Westland, a subsidiary of Tata group-owned Trent Ltd, on Thursday announced it had received investment from Amazon in support of its publishing business. The amount has been not disclosed.The investme...