Sharing the concern of India Inc, which is upset at the Central Bureau of Investigation naming leading industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla in Coalgate, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on Wednesday said the CBI “should not play to the gallery and create an atmosphere of sensation and shock.”
At a time when the country was facing an economic slowdown and the government was working round the clock to boost growth, if every decision was contested and every person questioned, it would create a fear psychosis and the country would suffer, Mr. Sharma warned, talking to The Hindu.
The Minister was reacting to the CBI registering an FIR against the 46-year-old head of the Aditya Birla group charging him with cheating and conspiracy. The agency has alleged that undue favour was shown in allocation of coal blocks in 2005 to Mr. Birla’s company, Hindalco.
Mr. Sharma said there was nothing wrong in leading industrialists pleading their case before Ministers. “It is their right,” he said referring to the meeting Mr. Birla had with the Prime Minister in 2005 for grant of mining licence.
“We have a system which is transparent and open. We have due process which is followed in decision making. The institutions or the various authorities who have some constitutional duties to discharge should not go for overreach or play to the gallery,” he said.
“Irrespective of what the specific issues are, there is no denial of the fact that corporate leaders, including Kumar Mangalam Birla, are held in very high esteem in India and abroad and they have made their own notable contribution.’’