SC notice to Centre on coal block allocations

Updated - November 16, 2021 09:44 pm IST

Published - September 14, 2012 01:14 pm IST - New Delhi

Indian laborers load coal onto trucks at a coal depot on the outskirts of Jammu, India, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012. India's opposition lawmakers have been demanding India's opposition lawmakers have been demanding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh resign resign after an audit found the government lost huge sums of money by selling coal fields without competitive bidding. The auditor's report estimated that private companies got a windfall profit of $34 billion because of the low prices they paid for the coal fields. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

Indian laborers load coal onto trucks at a coal depot on the outskirts of Jammu, India, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012. India's opposition lawmakers have been demanding India's opposition lawmakers have been demanding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh resign resign after an audit found the government lost huge sums of money by selling coal fields without competitive bidding. The auditor's report estimated that private companies got a windfall profit of $34 billion because of the low prices they paid for the coal fields. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

The alleged irregularities in the coal block allocations came under judicial scrutiny on Friday with the Supreme Court directing the Centre to explain if the guidelines were strictly followed in allotting the natural resource to private companies.

Turning down the Centre’s plea that the court should not go into the issue as it is being looked into by a Parliamentary committee, the Apex Court said “these are different exercises.”

A bench of justices R M Lodha and A R Dave said the petition raised serious questions and “it requires explanation from the government”.

“There is difference in exercise done by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Parliament and PAC can proceed with the issue on the basis of the CAG report. We don’t want to encroach upon their exercise but the petition raises different things altogether. There are sufficient averments which require explanation from you,” the Court said.

The bench also made it clear that it is confining itself only to the aspect of guidelines formulated by the Centre for allocation of coal blocks.

The court passed the order while hearing a PIL filed by advocate M L Sharma on the alleged coalgate scam.

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