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2 JSPL coal blocks to be removed from auction – says Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court has halted the auction of two mines, which were previously attached to a steel plant of a Naveen Jindal firm but are now reserved for power sector.

This order has come as a relief for the Jindal Steel and Power Ltd. (JSPL). They had earlier challenged the government decision to change the end use for the Utkal B1 coal block in Odisha and Gare Palma IV/6  in Chattisgarh to power from steel.

Bhushan Steel has approached the Delhi High Court on Wednesday challenging the auction process. Sarda Energy and Jayaswal Neco have also approached the court over various matters.

The coal miners had alleged that the government had exaggerated the grade of coal than the actual in tender documents of several mines and offered no compensation for land taken on lease for mining purposes. The variation in the grade mentioned in the bid documents from the actual output will have an impact on the pricing of coal blocks, royalty and tax rates and efficiency of end-use projects.
The Delhi High Court has issued a notice to the Centre on Jayaswal Neco’s petition, and passed an interim order saying that any steps taken on “the tender process in respect of Gare Palma IV/4 coal block shall be subject to further orders of this court”.
The company’s plea will be heard by the court on February 23, along with GVK Power’s petition seeking higher valuation for its mining infrastructure.

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