Calcutta, Sept. 21: JSW Steel today moved the Delhi high court over the cancellation of the Gourangdih ABC coal block in Bengal following the controversy over mine allocation after the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report.
Sources said the high court had given a respite to the country’s largest steel maker by staying cancellation for seven days. However, the court declined to stay the cancellation today as the company could not produce the deallocation letter from the Centre.
“We approached the court on the basis of media reports. But the court said it can not issue any stay order without an official communication. But it said the deallocation would not come into effect seven days after receiving the communication from the coal ministry,” the official said.
JSW and Himachal EMTA — a joint venture between the Himachal Pradesh government and EMTA Coal of Bengal — are equal partners in the Gourangdih block, which has around 129 million tonnes of coal.
It is one of the few blocks that has been deallocated by the coal ministry after the recommendation of an inter-ministerial group reviewing the progress of coal blocks alloted to private firms.
Today’s development means that JSW will have time to move court after getting the cancellation order. It will also prevent the government from encashing the Rs 17-crore bank guarantee deposited for the block.