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Govt list to SC says 11 firms allotted coal blocks sans PowerMin clearance

Government on Thursday submitted a list of 11 companies in the court which were allocated blocks.

New Delhi |
January 17, 2014 1:44:10 am

A day after the Supreme Court questioned the Centre over the functioning of the screening committee for allocation of coal blocks, the government on Thursday submitted a list of 11 companies in the court which were allocated blocks despite not being recommended by the power ministry at a time when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was heading the coal ministry.

The list was submitted a day after the Supreme Court raised questions on how the companies, which were not recommended by Central Electricity Authority and the ministry of power, were allocated coal blocks for end-use power plants. The list includes Tata Power, Reliance Energy Ltd, Balco SKS Ispat and Power, Prakash Industries, Green Infrastructure, Visa Power, Vandana Vidyut, GVK, Gagan Sponge Iron and Lanco Group Ltd.

During resumed hearing today, Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati also provided a list of eight companies which were recommended by the ministry of power but which were not cleared by the screening committee. They are Rashmi Cement, TRN Energy, Maithon Power, Mahabir Global Co, Rosa Power Co, Bhushan Energy, Lanco Amarkantak and Vedanta.

“What appears to be for sure is that the screening committee is not accepting the broad guidelines,” the bench observed while hearing the issue of allocation of coal blocks by screening committee in 2007-08 when the Prime Minister was holding charge of the coal ministry.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Thursday also reserved its verdict on cancellation of around 200 coal blocks allocation after hearing arguments spread over 16 months. A three-judge bench headed by Justice R M Lodha, which had agreed to look into the alleged irregularities in coal block allocation on September 14, 2012, wrapped up the proceedings which witnessed the Centre itself putting in motion the process of de-allocating some coal blocks.

The SC was hearing petitions filed by members of civil societies including former CEC N Gopalaswami, ex-Navy chief L Ramdas and former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian and lawyer ML Sharma seeking cancellation of coal block allocations.

SC asks ED to file report by Feb 8

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Enforcement Directorate to file by February 8 the status report on its probe into coal scam for suspected money laundering and foreign exchange rules violations. A bench headed by Justice R M Lodha also directed the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to share information related to coal scam probe. PTI

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