New Delhi: The Coal Ministry has sought the opinion of Attorney General on whether the government needs to bring out an Ordinance to deal with the issues arising from the Supreme Court decision to de-allocate coal mines.
The issues that need to be resolved by the government in the coal mine case include forfeiting of bank guarantees and title deeds of the land mines purchased by the companies, sources said.
The Coal Ministry, they said, is seeking “advice of Attorney General on the issue of Bank Guarantee forfeited/ imposed on the allocatee companies, the cancellation of mining leases, the right and title of the land purchased by the allocatee companies”.
Depending on the advice of the Attorney General of India, they said, the ministry will take a view on the Ordinance so as to deal with the implications of the Supreme Court’s order in the coal case.
In a major blow to the corporate sector, the Supreme Court had last month quashed allocation of 214 out of 218 coal blocks alloted to various companies since 1993 terming the method as “fatally flawed” and allowed the Centre to take over operation of 42 such blocks which are functional.
The apex court said the beneficiaries of the illegal process “must suffer” the consequences and refused to show sympathy to private companies which submitted that Rs 2.87 lakh crore have been invested in 157 coal block and Rs 4 lakh crores in end-use plants.
It, however, saved from the “guillotine” four allocations one each to SAIL and NTPC and two blocks to Sasan Power Ltd owned by Anil Ambani’s Reliance Power and also gave six months breathing time to rest of them to wind up their operations by March 31, 2015.