Jindal Steel in legal battle with govt over coal mine cancellation

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Updated: March 23, 2015 2:15:05 PM

Jindal Steel and Power moves Delhi HC against the Centre's decision to cancel allocation of two coal blocks to it.

Jindal Steel and power, Jindal Steel stocks, Jindal steel shares, coal auction, coal mines, india latest news, business news

Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) on Monday moved Delhi High Court against the decision of the Centre to cancel coal blocks allocated to it.

JSPL said the Coal Ministry cancelled the allocation on March 20 and it feared the blocks Gare Palma IV/2, IV/3 and Tara in Chhattisgarh might be allocated to someone else as the government is “moving very fast”.

The matter was mentioned before a bench of justices B D Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva by senior advocate Rajiv Nayar who sought an urgent hearing. The court listed the matter for hearing today before the appropriate bench.

The government had cancelled bids of JSPL and Bharat Aluminium Company (Balco) for four coal blocks amid speculation of cartelisation and had said it will take a final decision on these mines after deliberations.

The government was re-examining the bids for nine coal blocks, including those where JSPL and Balco emerged top bidders in the recently held auction.

Jindal Power had emerged as successful bidder for Gare IV/2, Gare Palma IV/3 and Tara coal blocks, while Balco had successfully bid for Gare Palma IV/1 coal block.

So far, a total of 33 coal blocks have been auctioned in two tranches. While in the first lot 19 coal mines were auctioned, in the second lot 14 coal blocks went under the hammer.

On Saturday, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup had said that, “In the schedule II, we were looking at four mines and in schedule III we are looking at five mines … Prima facie we found that it requires a re-examination, so it has been re-examined that is about all.”

While insisting that the government “has not looked at any such thing as cartelisation or anything of such sort”, the secretary had said: “I have used the word ‘outliers’. There is a pattern and if somebody falls outside that pattern that needs a examination.

“Whether it is a cartelisation or not it not something which I can say as of now. We are certainly not examining these aspects. We are examining if there is an outlier, the reason for it, and then we will take a call”, he had said.

So far, a total of 33 coal blocks have been auctioned in two tranches. While in the first lot 19 coal mines were auctioned, in the second lot 14 coal blocks went under the hammer.

The government was re-examining the bids for nine coal blocks, including those where Jindal Steel & Power (JSPL) and Balco emerged top bidders in the recently held auction. “Bids for Gare Palma IV/1, IV/2, IV/3 and Tara coal blocks not accepted,” Coal Secretary Anil Swarup had tweeted early on Saturday.

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