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SC Notice to Govt over Coalgate, Coal Ministry to Reply

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TNI Bureau: Amidst the growing pressure from the opposition BJP over the coal blocks allocation scam, the Supreme Court slapped the UPA government issuing a notice over the alleged irregularities in the allocation.

The coal ministry will have to explain whether there were irregularities in the allocations, within 8 weeks. The notice was issued in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking cancellation of 194 coal blocks allotted during 2005-2011.

The PIL alleged that the coal blocks were allotted to the companies, those had no mining plan. Meanwhile, the coal ministry has cancelled the allocation of four companies and the bank guarantee of one of them has been encashed.

The blocks cancelled were the Bramhadih block in Jharkhand allotted to Castron Mining Ltd; Chinora and Warora (Southern Part) blocks in Maharashtra allotted to Field Mining and Ispat Ltd; and Lalgarh (North) block in Jharkhand allotted to Domco Smokeless Fuels Pvt. Ltd.

The government also cancelled the Marki Mangli-II, III and IV block allotment in Maharashtra allotted to Shri Virangana Steels Ltd and the bank guarantee encashed on Thursday.

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