Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on Friday said the Government would reply to the Supreme Court notice within the stipulated time of eight weeks.

The apex court on Friday admitted public-interest litigation on coal block allocation and asked the Government to reply on several counts.

They include whether guidelines were strictly adhered to while allocating coal blocks and why competitive bidding mechanism was not followed. The court also wanted to know why several politicians’ names have come out pertaining to false representation while applying for coal blocks.

The Bench rejected Solicitor General Rohinton Nariman’s contention that the petition based on the Comptroller and Auditor General of India’s report was “premature” as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) headed by senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi was slated to examine it from September 20.

IMG ON COAL

The Inter Ministerial Group (IMG), headed by Additional Secretary at Coal Ministry Zohra Chatterji has once again met on Friday to review progress in nearly seven captive coal blocks.

The IMG after reviewing each of the cases would accordingly recommend to the Coal Ministry for de-allocation or submitting/forfeiting bank guarantees.

“The Coal Ministry would take a view on Monday if IMG sends new recommendations,” a Ministry official said.

On Thursday, the IMG recommended de-allocation of four coal blocks allotted to three private firms and en-cashed/issued warning bank guarantees of two companies.

siddhartha.s@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 14, 2012)
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