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Entertaining JSPL plea to affect auction: Govt to HC

Govermment on Tuesday opposed in Delhi High Court the pleas of JSPL and its promoter Naveen Jindal challenging its order changing end-use of coal blocks earlier alloted to them, saying the decision was taken to ensure optimal use of reserves of the natural resource.

“Entertaining the plea will result in stunting the entire process undertaken subsequent to apex court verdict,” Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi submitted before a bench of justices B D Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva.

The AG contended that the Supreme Court while cancelling the coal blocks had made it clear that there cannot be any link with the past. Hence, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd’s (JSPL) contention, that
change of end-use would affect its Rs 20,000 crore investment in a steel unit, is “wiped out”, he said.

The Centre was responding to the petition in which JSPL contended that it was allocated coal blocks in Odisha and Chhattisgarh for the setting up steel and sponge iron production units respectively, and changing the end-use has resulted in making it ineligible to participate in the ongoing auction process which is expected to culminate on February 14.
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