The Supreme Court on Tuesday took exception to the Centre’s request to transfer a case related to a company, which had been allotted a coal block, to the bench hearing the coal scam cases.
The bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R Banumathi outlined the facts of the case and said that “prima facie we are of the view that it does not pertain to the coal block bench”.
The bench gave vent to its anguish in the order and said, “The prayer made on behalf of the Union of India for assignment of these cases to the coal bench, therefore, does not prima facie appear to be correct and tenable. Whether it is bona fide or not is an exercise we do not consider necessary or feasible to undertake.”
The company, Strategic Energy Technology Systems Pvt Ltd, had moved the apex court challenging a Delhi High court order asking it to approach the trial court for return of its bank guarantee of Rs 55 crore, which was invoked and the amount credited to the Centre “for not achieving the milestones in the preparatory work”. But after all coal block allocations were cancelled by the Supreme Court in 2014, the company had approached the HC seeking return of the amount.
The SC bench said the Central government had not raised the issue of coal block bench before the HC and even before it, this was raised only after extensive arguments were heard.