The Asian Age
A- G: Don’t cancel 40 coal blocks
The Supreme Court was told by the government Monday that it “wants reauction of all 218 coal blocks” declared illegal. The government, however, sought its indulgence to “exempt” 40 coal blocks that are functional and ready for use in power plants.
Attorney- general Mukul Rohatgi said while the Narendra Modi government “strongly believes in the August 25 judgment”, it will be “happy if we save some 40 of them which are functional/ operational”. Appearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice R. M. Lodha, Mr Rohatgi requested the 40 mines not be treated with “one brush” and “can be exempted” from cancellation and re- auction.
The court was told the country otherwise faced the risk of an acute power shortage.
New Delhi, Sept. 1: The Central Bureau of Investigation’s move to close the coal blocks allocation scam case against Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd and its directors on Monday came under the scanner of a special court, which observed that the agency’s closure report was “devoid of any reasoning or logical step”.
Special CBI judge Bharat Parashar said the CBI’s closure report lacked any logical step through which it had come to the conclusion that there was no “element of criminality” in the acts of “omission or commission” allegedly committed by the coal ministry officials.
“... Without going into any further length of the matter at this stage, I may state that from a bare perusal of closure report, it is broadly clear that it is devoid of any reasoning or logical step through which the investigating agency came to this conclusion of there being no element of criminality in the impugned acts of omission or commission committed by the officers/ officials of the coal ministry,” the judge said. The observation came when the court sought clarification from the investigating officer ( IO) about the closure report. As the IO was unable to answer properly on court’s query, the judge posted the matter for further arguments on September 9 saying it would be appropriate to hear special public prosecutor R. S. Cheema on the issue. Mr Cheema was not present in the courtroom during the hearing.
“However, as the SPP is not available today so at this stage, I am refraining myself from making any further observations as it will be appropriate to hear him first,” the judge said.