Supreme Court cancels allocation of 214 coal blocks allotted since 1993

While quashing allocation of 214 coal blocks allotted since 1993, the apex court granted six months 'breathing time' to companies whose 42 blocks were cancelled, to wind up business

 

The Supreme Court on Wednesday quashed allocation of 214 coal blocks out of 218 allocated since 1993. While announcing the judgement, the apex court granted six months 'breathing time' to companies whose blocks were cancelled, to wind up business. Only four ultra mega power projects (UMPPs), including NTPC and SAIL have been exempted out of the 218 coal blocks.

 

The Court asked Coal India Ltd to take over such blocks within six months and auction them. As per the apex court order, 36 operational coal blocks have been cancelled and they are ordered to stop production after 1 March 2015. Out of the 214 coal blocks, 168 of the allocations are cancelled with immediate effect while 42 has been given six months' grace time to wind up.

 

The Supreme Court also directed these 42 block holders to pay a penalty of Rs295 per tonne of coal extracted for making up for the loss highlighted by the CAG in its report.

 

In a draft report issued in March 2014, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) accused the union government of allocating coal blocks in an inefficient manner during 2004–2009. The CAG Final Report tabled in the Parliament put the figure at Rs1.86 lakh crore ($30 billion). Even the Parliamentary Standing Committee report on Coal and Steel states that all coal blocks distributed between 1993 and 2008 were done in an unauthorized manner and allotment of all mines where production is yet to start should be cancelled.

 

Last month, the apex court held that all coal block allocations made since 1993 till 2010 before pre-auction era during previous NDA and UPA regimes have been done in an illegal manner by an "ad-hoc and casual" approach "without application of mind".

 

While passing strictures on the Screening Committee, the Supreme Court, in its ruling on 25th August, had said, "...the entire allocation of coal block as per recommendations made by the Screening Committee from 14 July 1993 in 36 meetings and the allocation through the Government dispensation route suffers from the vice of arbitrariness and legal flaws. The Screening Committee has never been consistent, it has not been transparent, there is no proper application of mind, it has acted on no material in many cases, relevant factors have seldom been its guiding factors, there was no transparency and guidelines have seldom guided it. On many occasions, guidelines have been honoured more in their breach. There was no objective criteria, nay, no criteria for evaluation of comparative merits. The approach had been ad-hoc and casual. There was no fair and transparent procedure, all resulting in unfair distribution of the national wealth. Common good and public interest have, thus, suffered heavily. Hence, the allocation of coal blocks based on the recommendations made in all the 36 meetings of the Screening Committee is illegal."

 

The Screening Committee had allotted coal blocks to 29 state government public sector undertakings (PSUs) while 72 PSUs were allotted blocks through government dispensation route.

 

The Bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha, had said, "The allocation of coal blocks through Government dispensation route, however laudable the object may be, also is illegal since it is impermissible as per the scheme of the CMN Act. No State Government or public sector undertakings of the State Governments are eligible for mining coal for commercial use. Since allocation of coal is permissible only to those categories under Section 3(3) and (4), the joint venture arrangement with ineligible firms is also impermissible."

 

The apex court mentioned that no challenge was laid before it for the blocks where competitive bidding was held for the lowest tariff for power for UMPPs. Prashant Bhushan, counsel for Common Cause said that since allocation for UMPPs is in accord with the opinion given in Natural Resources Allocation Reference and the benefit of the coal block is passed on to the public, the said allocations may not be cancelled.

 

He, however, had pointed out that in some cases, the government has allowed diversion of coal from UMPP to other end user for commercial exploitation.

 

"Having regard to this, it is directed that the coal blocks allocated for UMPP would only be used for UMPP and no diversion of coal for commercial exploitation would be permitted," the Supreme Court had said in its judgement on 25 August 2014.

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COMMENTS

Madhur Aggarwal

4 years ago

Energy crisis in Metros .
Rising Prices.

Inefficiency
Zero production in big acquired mines out of 218 by Earlier allottees has
brought the situation to such an extent that

either it now or
drowning in mess created by politico- cronies- private players nexus .

Seeing judiciary track record in India
More than democracy up holding virtues in this country
Emergency , Persistence Of Prashant
Bhushan .
CAG report under Vinod rai Agitation by independent groups in Delhi and all those who I do not know but made this Coal gate important issue
has broken the bread here.
Now the important thing is to Get
the King of Minerals- COAL to boost this economy with aid of professionally managed and accountable firms with track record in Coal or related Mining and Filtration .
Modi ji is busy in
MANGAL YAAN AND FRUIT JUICE IN PEPSI N COKE
Where as Ganga bachao - Halaf naama filed by Govt . of INDIA says
51,000 crores and 18 years time is needed to cleanse it .
Election over promise .

1/ 10 marks on BJPs integrity and research on Ganga bachao andalon.

Ganges -- Sorry !! Your cause is lost in India .
I wish you were Thames of London
or Nile of Egypt .
Salt lakes in Australia
You would have been protected over there .
5000 old River poisoned .

YOGESH GAUTAM

4 years ago

A little show of real Democracy values shown by supreme Court.

Mangalyan: India's Mars Orbiter Mission successful

Let schools and colleges celebrate the success by clapping for five minutes. The achievements of our scientists is bigger than when our cricket team wins a tournament, said Modi after ISRO successfully placed the Mangalyan in the Red Planet's orbit

 

India on Wednesday successfully placed its Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), Mangalyan in the Red Planet’s orbit. This success has taken the country and its space agency Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to join the elite countries and nations.

 

The successful manoeuvres were carried out in early hours of 24th September, watched keenly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his cabinet colleagues and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

 

ISRO said that India’s spacecraft has been placed successfully in orbit around Mars.

 

Prime Minister Modi described the Mars mission success as a “historic occasion”. "Since the short form of Mars Orbiter Mission was MOM, I was sure about its success because MOM will never disappoint,'' he said.

 

"Let schools and colleges celebrate the success by clapping for five minutes. Entire country should make this an occasion for celebration. Let’s be proud of the achievements of our scientists. Their achievement is bigger than when our cricket team wins a tournament,'' he said.

 

Mars Orbiter Mission: Chronology of events

 

Following is the chronology of events that traces the journey of Mangalyaan which lasted over 300 days:

 

5 November 2013: ISRO’s PSLV C25 launches India’s Mars Orbiter Mission from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

 

7 November 2013: First Earth-bound manoeuvre performed.

 

8 November 2013: Second Earth-bound manoeuvre performed.

 

9 November 2013: Third Earth-bound manoeuvre performed.

 

11 November 2013: Fourth Earth-bound manoeuvre performed.

 

12 November 2013: Fifth Earth-bound manoeuvre performed.

 

16 November 2013: Sixth Earth-bound manoeuvre performed.

 

1 December 2013: MOM leaves Earth’s orbit, Trans-Mars Injection performed.

 

4 December 2013: MOM leaves Earth’s Sphere of Influence of 9.25 lakh km radius.

 

11 December 2013: First course correction manoeuvre performed on the spacecraft.

 

11 June 2014: Second course correction manoeuvre executed.

 

22 September 2014: MOM enters Mars’ Gravitational Sphere of Influence; 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor test-fired after over 300 days of dormancy; last trajectory correction manoeuvre performed.

 

24 September 2014: MOM reaches the intended orbit around Mars, making India the first country in the world to have successfully launched its mission to the Red Planet on the very first attempt.

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I-T Dept sets up 24x7 monitoring cell in Mumbai for election

The 24x7 monitoring cell will help to check use of black money during Assembly elections. In addition, the Income Tax department has advised people to carry ID or PAN card, while carrying large amounts of cash or bullion

 

The Income Tax (I-T) Department in Mumbai has set up a round-the-clock control room and complaint monitoring cell to check use of black money during forthcoming assembly elections.

 

Following instructions from the Election Commission, the I-T Department has floated a helpline number for general public to alert it about any suspicious movement of large sums of cash or bullion in Mumbai. The telephone numbers of the Control Room are 022-22635511, 022-22627275 and 1800-022-0115 (Toll Free).

 

In cases, where I-T authorities receive any information about movement of large amount of cash or bullion, they would investigate the cases and shall seize the cash or bullion if no satisfactory explanation is furnished.

 

The IT Department has advised the public to carry necessary documentary evidence, including Identity Card and PAN card, while carrying large amounts of cash or bullion in order to avoid unnecessary inconvenience.

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