Adani Group accused of lying before the Australian court

Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani (file photo)

If found guilty of perjury, representatives of Adani Group could face a maximum jail term of 14 years, as per the law in Queensland

The Adani Group has been accused of omitting damning findings about the environmental contamination being caused by its upcoming coal project in Australia, in documents it submitted before a Queensland court.

The Guardian reported that the Indian business giant had submitted an altered laboratory report as it appealed a $12,000 fine for spilling water contaminated with coal into wetlands located next to the Great Barrier Reef in the Queensland state.

The UK-headquartered news website noted that the Australia's Department of Environment found that the the findings submitted before the court didn’t include findings on pollution levels, which in turn were found out to be much worse than the company had originally claimed.

The discrepancy in Adani's report came to light after representatives from Department of Environment were preparing their defence in a court case filed by Adani against the government body. Adani is disputing the the claim that the group's Abbott Point Bulkcoal, part of $21 billion Carmichael Coal Mine, polluted the surrounding waters.

According to the news report, Adani's coal project had been allowed a limit of 100 milligrams of coal per litre of water that it could discharge in the waters. The company, however, informed the court in April last year that it had been discharging 806 milligrams per litre of coal-laden water, in the wake of which it was fined $12,000 for breaching the environmental rule.

It was later discovered that the actual discharge was 834 mg per litre, higher than even 806 that the Adani Group had been claiming in the court. The actual discharge rate of 834 wasn't mentioned in the document submitted before the court, it has been revealed.

It is not clear at this stage if the Adani Group will be tried for perjury in the matter. Lying under oath can attract a maximum jail term of 14 years, as per the law in Queensland.

Adani's coal mine in Australia, slated to be the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere if fully-operational, faces an uncertain future after the re-elected Labor government in Queensland vetoed a federal loan to the project in November.

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