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Government names companies selected by it for coal blocks

SC judges suspected a lack of objective criteria in the selection

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

In the ongoing hearing on Thursday before the Supreme Court in the coal block allocation controversy, the government presented information sought by the judges on Wednesday about companies selected and rejected by the screening committee.

The judges wanted the list as they suspected a lack of objective criteria in the selection.

According to the charts made available, eight companies were recommended by the ministry of power but weren't selected by the committee - Rashmi Cement, TRN Energy, Maithon Power, Mahabir Global, Rosa Power, Bhushan Energy, Lanco Amarkantak and M/s Vedanta.

The 11 not recommended by the ministry but selected by the committee were Tata Power, Reliance Energy, Balco, SKS Ispat & Power, Prakash Industries, Green Infrastructure, Visa Power, Vandana Vidyut, GVK, Gagan Sponge Iron and Lanco Group Ltd.

The charts also name 20 firms both recommended by the ministry and accepted by the panel.

The three-judge bench headed by R M Lodha had observed the selection smelt of arbitrariness. So, it had asked for details of the companies and allotments made, specifically the list of those not recommended and yet selected and vice versa. These details, with several charts, were given on Thursday.

The petitioners, Prashant Bhushan for Common Cause, a citizens' group, and lawyer M L Sharma concluded their arguments on Thursday. Earlier, Harish Salve and K K Venugopal, representing the power companies and coal producers, respectively, gave theirs'.

Under the banner of Common Cause, seven persons moved the petition two years earlier, seeking cancellation of the coal block allocations. They contended all allocations were illegal, as the mandatory procedures under the law weren't followed, there was a breach of the principle of trusteeship of natural resources, with resources given as largesse, with arbitrariness, lack of transparency and mala fide intentions.

List of companies selected/ rejected by the 35th screening committee for coal block allocation
  • Rashmi Cement
  • TRN Energy
  • Maithon Power
  • Mahabir Global Co
  • Rosa Power Co
  • Bhushan Energy
  • Lanco Amarkantak
  • M/s Vedanta

Companies not recommended by the power ministry but selected by the screening committee:
  • Tata Power
  • Reliance Energy Ltd
  • Balco
  • SKS Ispat & Power
  • Prakash Industries
  • Green Infrastructure
  • Visa Power
  • Vandana Vidyut
  • GVK
  • Gagan Sponge Iron
  • Lanco Group Ltd

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First Published: Fri, January 17 2014. 00:50 IST