Coal blocks: Supreme Court refuses to restrain companies from mining operations

Coal blocks

New Delhi, Oct 16: Giving a little respite to the coal companies directed to wind up mining operations in six months as their coal block allocations have been cancelled, the Supreme Court on Thursday refused to restrain them from extracting coal and selling it in the market during this period.

The apex court said the companies were granted six months’ time to wind up their operations, therefore, they cannot be restrained from excavating coal during this period.

Heading the Supreme Court bench, Chief Justice H L Dattu said: “If they want to excavate coal, no one can stop them. They have been given six months’ time. Why should court direct them not to extract coal during this period.”

The court gave this direction when advocate M L Sharma, on whose plea the apex court had earlier cancelled 214 out of 218 coal blocks allocation, submitted that the companies are extracting three to four times more coal per day as they have to wind up their operations within six months.

He urged the court that the companies should be restrained from doing so, but his plea was not entertained.

On September 24, the apex court had quashed the allocations of 214 coal blocks allocated since 1993, terming them as “fatally flawed” and had directed the Centre to take over operation of 42 such blocks which are functional.

The court had also asked Coal India Limited (CIL)to fill the void and take over the operation of the 42 functional blocks, directing that cancellation of these blocks will take effect only after six months from March 31, 2015.

(With Agency Inputs)

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