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Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Government the reasons for segregating coal blocks into three schedules if they could be auctioned off for any end- use.

The coal blocks, which were cancelled last year by the Supreme Court, were segregated into three schedules. While Schedule one had all the cancelled blocks, Schedule two comprised those blocks of schedule one which were fully operational and Schedule three had non-operational blocks having all clearances to start production. “Why do you need schedules two and three when a mine in schedule one could be picked up and auctioned off,” a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva asked the government.

It also said the government’s policy regarding auction of coal blocks needed to be consistent, while referring to the ministry’s decision to earmark some blocks having 100 million tonnes or more for power and some for steel. The Centre had earlier claimed that as per its policy, any block having more 100 million tonnes or more reserves were earmarked for power sector only. The observations were made by the court while hearing Jindal Steel and Power Ltd and its promoter Naveen Jindal’s petition challenging the change of end-use of two coal blocks, which were earlier allocated to it. One of the two blocks has now been put up for auction.


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