India’s federal investigating agency has filed a case against the country’s biggest coal importer and trader Adani Enterprises Ltd and several government officials for alleged criminal conspiracy in a coal supply deal in 2010, a report filed by the agency said on Thursday.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has charged past officials of National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India Ltd (NCCF), a government cooperative body, with conduct “unbecoming of public servants and in criminal conspiracy” by giving undue favour to Adani Enterprises in a six million tonne coal supply contract awarded in 2010, the CBI report said.
Reuters has seen a copy of the report.
NCCF did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.
Adani Enterprises used a proxy company to bid for the contract even as Adani itself was participating in the process, the CBI report said, adding its representatives were informed beforehand of some financial details of the bids of some of the bidders.
“Adani Enterprises Ltd. has complied with the process, all formalities and relevant laws,” the company said in a statement.
“The Company shall respond to the same and shall also put forth the factual position to the authority,” it said.
By awarding the contract to Adani to supply coal, instead of disqualifying it, officials had also violated the terms of the tender that was issued by NCCF, the report said.
The case comes at a time when the Adani Group – India’s biggest private sector coal importer and trader – has been criticised by environmental activists for its involvement in a huge coal mining project in Australia, where massive bush fires have highlighted climate issues in the country.