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Coal notice to Centre

New Delhi, Nov. 19: The Supreme Court today sought the Centre’s response on a PIL seeking cancellation of all coal blocks allocated to private companies since 1993 and a court-monitored probe by the CBI or a special investigation team.

“We have to examine whether there is any lack of objectivity or fairness (in the allocations),” the court said, posting the matter for January 24. The Centre has eight weeks to file its response.

The court tagged the PIL — filed by NGO Common Cause and a group of former bureaucrats — with other similar pleas. That included one to cancel a deal between the Odisha Mining Corporation, owned by the state government, and a Delhi firm on a coal block in Talcher.

The CBI is probing the coal allocations but Common Cause has alleged that the agency is not transparent as it is under the Prime Minister’s overall control.