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HC restrains allocation of blocks to Coal India

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New Delhi, March 23:

The Delhi High Court on Monday granted interim relief to Jindal Steel and Power Ltd. (JSPL) and restrained the central government from allocating two coal blocks to Coal India, for which JSPL emerged as the successful bidder during a recent auction.

File pic of a coal field
File pic of a coal field

A division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva directed the Centre to maintain status quo on coal blocks Gare Palma IV/2 and IV/3, and also issued notice to the government and asked it to file a response on JSPL’s plea by March 26.

JSPL approached the court against the government’s March 20 decision to cancel the company’s winning bids for the two coal blocks in Chhattisgarh.

The government allotted Gare Palma IV/2, IV/3 and Tara block to Coal India despite JSPL and Balco emerging as the top bidders.

The government said it was rejecting three of JSPL’s bids in the recently-concluded coal block auctions due to low bids made by the company.

JSPL, however, said the coal ministry allotted Gare Palma to Coal India by annulling the tender process for the blocks.

With regard to the plea on annulment of the tender process for Tara coal block, the bench sought the government’s response by April 16.

It asked the ministry to bring relevant records regarding the tender annulment and to place it before the court.

The two pleas filed by JSPL sought quashing of the March 20 order of the government as well as directions to the government to declare the company as the successful bidder for the three blocks and award these to it. IANS