Millennium Post

HC orders status quo on allotment of Chh’garh coal block

While passing the order on Tara coal block till April 16, the court also asked the Coal Ministry how it can allot a mine to Coal India Ltd (CIL) when the block had been earmarked for allocation through auction.

The query was raised after the court was informed that Coal Ministry had alloted to CIL two mines--Gare Palma IV/2 and IV/3 in Chhattisgarh--for which Jindal Power Ltd (JPL) had bid the highest, by annulling the tender process for the blocks.

“What you have earmarked for allocation, how can you allot it. How have you switched from allocation to allotment,” a bench of justices B D Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva asked the ministry while hearing JPL’s petitions challenging the government’s March 20 decision.

The court issued notice to the ministry and directed it to file its response in two days with regard to the Gare Palma mines and listed the matter for further hearing on March 26. It also asked the ministry to bring the relevant records regarding the tender annulment and to place it before the bench for its perusal. With regard to the plea on annulment of tender process for coal block Tara, the court sought the government’s response by the next date of hearing, on April 16.

In its two petitions, JPL has sought quashing of the March 20 order as well as directions to the government to declare it as the successful bidder for the three mines and to award
them to it.
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