Government files caveat in SC against petition challenging coal block allocation

The union ministry of coal has filed a caveat in the Supreme Court to ensure that the court does not pass any order in a petition challenging coal block allocations without hearing the government's arguments.

''The coal ministry has filed a caveat against a petition challenging allocation of coal mines,'' a government official said.

''We have asked the court before passing any order to hear us,'' the official said.

The Public interest litigation (PIL) was field by members of the civil society, including former chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami, former Navy chief L Ramdas and former cabinet secretary T S R Subramanian on 4 October seeking a court-monitored probe by a special investigation team (SIT) into the coal block allocation scam.

They petitioners along with other retired bureaucrats and NGO 'Common Cause' sought the quashing of the entire allocation of coal blocks to private companies made since 1993.

The allotment of coal blocks was done in a non-transparent and unfair manner in violation of rules and procedures, the petitioners alleged.

The petitioners moved court after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report had observed that the government could have incurred a financial loss of an estimated Rs1,86,000 crore due to the free and random allocation of coal blocks to private parties.