Coal Min to file caveat in Supreme Court in allocations case

SC may order a special probe team to look into the coal field allocations, says the official
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First Published: Tue, Oct 09 2012. 06 53 PM IST
Miners work at a coalmine in Chhattisgarh. Photo: Reuters
Miners work at a coalmine in Chhattisgarh. Photo: Reuters
Updated: Wed, Oct 10 2012. 12 09 AM IST
New Delhi: The coal ministry will file a caveat in the Supreme Court against a petition challenging coal field allocations, two ministry officials said on Tuesday.
“We are asking the court not to pass an order without hearing us,” one of them said. “We want the court to know our side of the story.” Both officials declined to be named.
Since the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) tabled its report on coalfield allocations in Parliament in August, two petitions have been filed in the apex court against the allocations.
The caveat is being filed for the petition filed by lawyer Prashant Bhushan.
There is a chance that the two cases may be clubbed, the two officials said. The court may also order a special investigation team to look into the allocations, the first official said.
The ministry allocated 195 fields to 289 companies between 1993 and 2011, but only 30 of them are producing coal.
The CAG report alleged these allocations, which did not follow transparent processes, resulted in a notional loss of Rs1.86 trillion.
The Central Bureau of Investigation is also investigating the coalfield allocations and has booked cases against seven companies.
Meanwhile, the inter-ministerial group of government officials on Tuesday began reviewing allocations made to the government-run companies in what may result in cancellations and penalties.
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First Published: Tue, Oct 09 2012. 06 53 PM IST
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