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Coal Ordinance not clear: Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court on Thursday said there was lack of clarity in the Coal Ordinance 2014 as the authorities who had drafted it were “totally unclear” about it.

“All that we can say is whosoever drafted it (ordinance) was unclear. This (ordinance) is totally unclear,” a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva observed.

It made these observations while hearing Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and its promoter Naveen Jindal’s petition challenging the change of end-use of two coal blocks in Odisha and Chhattisgarh, which were earlier allocated to it. One of the two blocks has been put up for auction.

JSPL has contended in its plea that it has been excluded from bidding for the blocks Utkal B1 in Odisha and Gare Palma IV/6 in Chhattisgarh, earlier allocated to it, by changing their end-use from iron and steel to power.

The bench during the hearing posed several queries, including on the purpose of segregation of coal blocks, whose allocation were cancelled by Supreme Court, into three schedules.

Schedule one had all the cancelled blocks. Schedule two comprised those blocks of schedule one which were fully operational. Schedule three were the non-operational blocks.
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