Coal deallocation: Govt reply sought

Written by Indu Bhan | Indu Bhan | New Delhi | Updated: May 8 2013, 07:26am hrs
The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought response from the Centre on a plea by Bhushan Steel (BSL) seeking transfer of two petitions relating to deallocation of coal blocks in November last year.

The transfer of the petitions by BSLhas been sought on the grounds that the two petitions involve the same questions of law, pertain to the same coal block and arrive out of a common decision of the coal ministry that de-allocated New Patrapara Coal Block allotted to it in 2006. Besides, transfer of these petitions to the apex court will prevent multiplicity of proceedings and will also prevent inconsistency in decision making. This will be in consonance with the public policy of India, the firm told a bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, which sought response from the Ministry of Coal.

BSL had sought transfer of its petition seeking quashing of the de-allocation order from the Delhi High Court. It also sought transfer of similar petition filed by its Orissa-based joint allottee M/s Sree Metaliks Ltd in the state high court this year.

Sree Metaliks has also challenged the decision for de-allocation of the New Patrapara Coal Block on the grounds that the impugned decision was entirely based on incorrect and unjust recommendation of the Inter Ministerial Group (IMG), and is arbitrary, illegal, mala fide being in direct conflict with the 2006 allocation policy.

Challenging the Centre's de-allocation letter of November 23, 2012, the petitions alleged that the mandate to IMG was either insufficient or it did not have the power to recommend de-allocation . BSL said no proper hearing was granted by the Centre.