Coal block allocations could have been done better: Centre admits in SC

CoalCentre admitted in SC that there were irregularities in the allocation of the coal blocks.

In a tacit admission of irregularities in allocation of coal blocks, the Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that the allocation could have been done in a better manner and that some of the decisions may indeed look bad now.

"Something has gone wrong with the process of allocation. Decisions were taken in good faith but somehow somewhere things went wrong. We admit decisions could have been done in a better manner," Attorney General G E Vahanvati told a bench led by Justice R M Lodha.

The AG agreed with the court that the allocation required to be a more consultative exercise with states also having adequate say in it. "A lot of decisions taken in the past with an intention to overcome power shortage in the country and increase power generation may not look good now but all this was done in good faith," said Vahanvati. The AG is currently arguing the matter further.

On Wednesday, putting the government in a tight spot, the Supreme Court had asked if it was ready to cancel coal blocks allotted after 2005 and also consider calling off such allocations where either leases have not been executed or "milestones" had not been reached by the beneficiary. There are more than 100 blocks allocated after 2005.

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