The Rajasthan High Court has stayed any further action on a limestone mine allotment after the Sajjan Jindal-owned JSW Cement sued the state government over an allegedly botched auction.
According to documents filed by the firm, JSW
Cement had participated in the auction of a limestone block at Nagaur on September 26 but, due to a technical glitch at MSTC
Limited’s server, was unable to submit its bid. Hence, according to the documents, JSW
immediately informed MSTC
about the server not accepting its bid, and also sent an email to MSTC
and Rajasthan mining department giving details of the failed bid.
The auction was finally won by Ambuja Cement, a subsidiary of Swiss giant Lafarge-Holcim and party to JSW's suit.
In spite of JSW’s objections, the Rajasthan government declared Ambuja Cement
the preferred bidder for the block spread over 3.57 square kilometres. Planning to set up a cement plant in the area, JSW
Cement had approached the state government for allotment of a limestone mine for the unit. The company currently has 10 million tonnes per annum cement capacity in India with plants at Vijayanagar, Dolvi, Nandyal and Shalboni.
An email to Ambuja Cement
did not elicit any response. The Rajasthan High Court will hear the matter on November 14.