The Supreme Court's decision on coal blocks de-allocation has posed a new problem to the Centre on land acquisitions, bought by mine owners.
Recently, the SC’s decision on coal blocks de-allocation has posed a new problem to the Centre on land acquisitions those were bought by mine owners for mining. Cancellation of the coal blocks doesn’t take away the land’s ownership from the allottees.
In order to implement the apex court’s verdict for coal mines would mean that government has to take away the land along with mines. However, the SC’s decision is silent on land aspect. To get out of this, the coal ministry has decided to issue an ordinance, vesting land along with coal mines back to the Centre. The ministry has passed the issue to Mukul Rohatgi, Attorney General to get an opinion on legality of issuing an ordinance for the purpose.
On 24 Sep, 2014 the SC had de-allocated 214 coal blocks except 4 blocks belonging one each to NTPC, SAIL and two allocated to Sasan UMPPs. It has also provided 6-month’s time to all owners for winding up their works. Thus, the Centre is planning to utilize the time in order to devise a procedure for taking back coal mines and put them for auction. The SC had also imposed a penalty of INR 295/MT on illegally allotted coal mines.