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Updated: September 18, 2013 23:17 IST
Coalgate scam

Court orders Centre to produce records on coal block identification

  • J. Venkatesan
Comment (2)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
The Centre, which found itself in the line of fire at the apex court, sought time till September 24 to explain the searching questions posed to it by a bench headed by Justice R.M. Lodha. File photo
The Hindu
The Centre, which found itself in the line of fire at the apex court, sought time till September 24 to explain the searching questions posed to it by a bench headed by Justice R.M. Lodha. File photo

‘Unless the issue is answered, we can’t proceed further,’ it tells AG

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to produce all records and booklets of the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Limited (CMPDIL) relating to identification of coal blocks so that it could proceed further in the hearing of the ‘coal block allocation case.’

A three-judge Bench of Justices R.M. Lodha, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph, hearing petitions filed by advocate Manohar Lal Sharma and Common Cause and others, posted a series of questions to the Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati and said “unless the first step, the issue of identification of coal blocks was answered, we can’t proceed further.” With the AG seeking time, the hearing was adjourned in the pre-lunch session, though the case was listed for hearing for the whole day.

Even as the AG was explaining the allocations, Justice Lodha drew his attention to the fact that the coal blocks which he (AG) was referring to, belonged to Coal India Ltd. as it was the lease holder. While this was so, Justice Lodha wondered how these blocks could have been allocated to private companies.

He asked the AG: “If these coal blocks identified by the CIL and the CMPDIL are part of the leasehold areas of the CIL then how can further right be created in favour of other companies. At the most you can only create a sub lease of these blocks.”

The AG said since the issue was not raised earlier, he would verify the records and inform the court at the next hearing.

Justice Lodha made it clear to the AG that “this issue is most vital for the case and it cannot proceed in the matter without the government’s clarification on it. The government must have a clear position on this aspect. You get all the booklets relating to coal block identification.”

On Tuesday the court asked the AG how the applications were received from the private power plant operators by the Central government, either directly or through the State government concerned; the brief given to the screening committee for selection, whether any guidelines were framed or the screening committee was asked to frame its own guidelines and how the applications for allocation of coal blocks were considered.

Justice Lodha also wanted to know from the AG how many private captive power plants were allocated coal blocks between 1993 and 2003; 2003 and 2004; 2004 and 2005 and 2005 and 2009; when they became operational and how many did not begin production at all and whether these blocks were re-allocated. The Bench adjourned the hearing to September 24 to enable the government to produce the relevant records.

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This business of "doctrine of trusteeship and Article 14"is the precise
reason why political parties want to come to power at the center.It is a
fact that it is the doctrine of discretion which runs countries,not the
doctrine of pleasure.Democracy does not mean subjugation of public
interest,but the public getting too interested in functioning of the
Govt does not allow the democratic process to function.There are crooks
all over the place.The petitioners(PIL??)only want a share.They are not
concerned about the country functioning.

from:  Hemant Agnihotri
Posted on: Sep 18, 2013 at 21:47 IST

Let us pray that the SC puts an end to "the systematic subversion of
Indian democracy", which has been going on for a very long period of
time, but has spiralled out of control in the past decade, when the
rather well-educated people were entrusted with stewardship authority,
by the much-less- well-educated masses with all their warmth and
reverence, yet, all that the people in power do with their fine brains
was to shamelessly plunder the nation wholesale, and inflict permanent
(let us hope not irreversible) harm to the current and future
generations of Indian citizenry.

It is pointless awarding capital punishment to ill-educated youth, and
at the same time leaving the highly educated middle-aged and sage-like-
senior-leaders standing on the pedestals they have erected for their own
egos, at public expense.

from:  D Mahapatra
Posted on: Sep 18, 2013 at 20:50 IST
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