ibnlive » Business

Oct 19, 2013 at 09:25am IST

Follow rule of law, but don't scare away investors: Moily on Birla FIR

New Delhi: Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily and former Infosys Chairman Narayan Murthy have warned that investigations against top businessmen may not augur well for the country's reputation and will drive away foreign investors. The remarks came after the Central Bureau of Investigation filed an FIR against Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla in the coal block allocation scam.

They said the CBI must be cent per cent sure of what it is doing otherwise this will send out a wrong message. Worried about the impact of the CBI's FIR Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had asked Commerce Minister Anand Sharma to reassure investors. Kumar Mangalam Birla had met Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday. "The CBI's FIR does not bother him," Birla had said after the meeting.

ALSO SEE CBI looking at PC Parakh's role in helping another firm get coal block

Moily said, "I think time has come to stick to the rule of law. If they have done that then its ok, we cannot become like Russia where investors don't want to go. This has to be ensured by judiciary and the CBI."

Narayan Murthy had said, "Kumar Mangalam is one of the most respected business people. Any accusation against him without detailed facts is not likely to go well in the eyes of investors abroad as well as Indian industrialists. Agencies must be 100 per cent sure about fact before making such an accusation."

ALSO SEE Birla meets Chidambaram, says not worried about FIR

The CBI had named both Birla and former Coal Secretary PC Parakh as accused in the coalgate's 14th FIR, which was registered on October 15. The FIR stated that the 25th Screening Committee decided to reject Hindalco and award coal blocks to Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd.

It said that the decision in favour of Hindalco was taken after meetings between Birla and Parakh in July 2005.

ALSO SEE Murthy slams FIR, says Birla is a respected man

The CBI in its FIR had also alleged that Parakh abused official position and allotted coal blocks to Hindalco showing undue favours. It states that there was approval from the 'competent authority'.