October 27, 2014 / 4:13 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-India's Jindal Steel says federal police investigating coal block allocation

(Adds details, background on separate preliminary enquiry)

MUMBAI, Oct 27 (Reuters) - India’s Jindal Steel and Power Ltd said on Monday the Indian federal police were investigating the granting of a coal mining licence block to the company.

The company’s statement late on Monday was in response to media reports that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was investigating accusations that it paid bribes to secure coal blocks.

Jindal said the CBI had filed a first information report against the company in connection with the allotment of a coal block in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh.

The company, led by billionaire and former member of parliament Naveen Jindal, has been hit by the new government’s reforms of the national coalmining industry.

Its shares have lost more more than quarter of their value since the country’s top court last month revoked most of the coal mining licences allocated by the government over the past two decades.

Adding to the company’s troubles, the CBI has issued a preliminary enquiry into irregularities in forest clearances related to an iron ore mine in the eastern state of Jharkhand, a CBI spokeswoman said.

“We have only come to know of the preliminary enquiry through media reports. JSPL reiterates that we have always co-operated with the investigative agencies and will respond when we receive these queries from the investigative authorities,” the company said in an emailed statement. (Reporting by Aman Shah in Mumbai; Editing by David Holmes and Greg Mahlich)

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