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Police lay first formal charges in India's 'Coalgate'

Published on Mar 10, 2014 11:58 PM

NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's federal police agency filed its first formal charges Monday over alleged wrongdoing in the awarding of coal blocks that the national government auditor says cost the treasury billions of dollars.

The laying of charges in what the Indian media has dubbed "Coalgate" comes less than a week after the ruling Congress party - buffeted by a string of graft accusations - announced national elections.

A spokesman for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told AFP the police agency had filed charges against a Navabharat Power Private Ltd, based in south India, and two of its directors. "A case was registered against Navabharat Power Private Ltd," the CBI official said.

A CBI statement on the police agency's website said the charges involved conspiracy and cheating.

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