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CBI files FIR against Cadbury India Ltd over corruption, fraud in obtaining Himachal factory licence

A CBI source said that multiple teams of the agency carried out searches at the locations of Cadbury India Ltd, which is now known as Mondelez Foods Pvt Ltd in Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana.

CBI files FIR against Cadbury India Ltd over corruption, fraud in obtaining Himachal factory licence-dnm
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New Delhi, First Published Mar 18, 2021, 11:11 AM IST
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New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed an FIR against Cadbury India Ltd for alleged irregularities and corruption in obtaining licenses for its factory in Himachal Pradesh in 2009-10, officials said.

A CBI source said that multiple teams of the agency carried out searches at the locations of Cadbury India Ltd, which is now known as Mondelez Foods Pvt Ltd in Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana.

The agency has accused Cadbury of corruption and misrepresentation of facts to fraudulently avail area-based tax benefits in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh. Sources in the agency said Cadbury India, in conspiracy with Central Excise officials, had availed excise benefits to the tune of Rs 241 crore for its unit for manufacturing 5 Star and Gems in Himachal Pradesh.

In its enquiry, the CBI found Cadbury India expanded its existing production units to avail the duty benefits. The unit, which was functional since 2005 and manufacturing Bournvita, was prohibited for manufacturing any other commercial products. As per the rule, Cadbury India should have opened a new manufacturing unit instead of expanding the existing unit.

Those named as accused are Nirmal Singh, Superintendent, Jaspreet Kaur, Inspector of the Central Excise Department, and 10 others, including Cadbury India.

The FIR has been registered under Section 420 (forgery) of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Meanwhile, Mondelez said that the company has settled the "potentially protracted litigation" through an amnesty scheme introduced by the Indian government to settle tax litigation.

"We are yet to receive any formal communication in the matter from the authorities," the company said.

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