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Many flaws in SC order that cancelled coal blocks: Parakh

There Were Several Flaws In The 2014 Supreme Court Order Which Cancelled Almost All Coal Block Allocations Made Since 1993, Former Coal Secretary P C Parakh Said On Saturday.

PTI | Updated on: 28 May 2017, 09:00:08 AM
Many flaws in SC order that cancelled coal blocks: Parakh


There were several flaws in the 2014 Supreme Court order which cancelled almost all coal block allocations made since 1993, former coal secretary P C Parakh said on Saturday.

He made the observation at the launch of his book The Coal Conundrum- Executive Failure and Judicial Arrogance.

The book was released here by former RBI Governor Y V Reddy, retired CVC P Shankar and Sanjay Baru, ex-media advisor to former prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"There were several flaws in this court order (2014 SC order which cancelled coal block allocations) that I have described in the book," the former IAS officer said.

Parakh said before the court ruling came, he had written a letter to Mukul Rohatgi, attorney general of India, offering to submit a detailed affidavit to explain the merits of every decision taken when he was in the coal ministry.

"It is unfortunate this letter was not brought on record before the court took a decision to cancel the coal block allocations," said Parakh, who retired as coal secretary in December 2005.

He maintained that judges and lawyers did not have adequate domain knowledge, which at times, made it difficult for them to comprehend complex technical issues.

"Before the court decided to cancel the allocations, it was suggested that the court appoint an expert committee to go into the merits of each case. The court, however, assumed it had understood everything and there was no need for any expert advice," he said.

The SC in September 2014 had cancelled 214 coal blocks, allotted to various private companies since 1993. The apex court had termed the allocations as "illegal and arbitrary".

Apart from cancelling the blocks, the court had also imposed a fine of Rs 295 per tonne of coal mined from these mines.

Parakh (69) was named in an FIR related to alleged irregularities in coal block allocation to Hindalco during 2004-05.

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First Published : 28 May 2017, 08:58:00 AM