The Central Government had moved the Supreme Court with a petition alleging that several firms had not obeyed the Supreme Court’s September 24th, 2014 judgment cancelling allocation of coal blocks. In its September, 2014 judgment, the Supreme Court had ordered the involved companies to deposit within 3 months a levy on coal extracted by them to compensate for the financial loss to the exchequer by illegal and arbitrary allotment of coal blocks.
On the basis of this petition’s plea that contempt proceedings must be initiated against such firms, on Monday, the Supreme Court issued notices to several companies seeking their response.
The Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi stated that, "Let them appear and respond”. The bench hearing this matter is headed by Justice Madan B Lokur and comprises Justices Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri. According to the Central Government, the Supreme Court judgment was clear and specific with regard to the amount of levy and the time period for deposit. Therefore, non-compliance with such an order undermines the dignity and the authority of the apex court.
WBPDCL, the Durgapur Projects Ltd, Bengal Emta Coal Mines Limited, BLA Industries Pvt Ltd, Arunachal Pradesh Mineral Development & Trading Corporation Ltd Itanagar, West Bengal Mineral Development and Trading Corporation Limited, and Damodar Valley Corporation are the main respondents attached by the Central Government in this petition.
The 3-judge bench has given two weeks time to the companies to submit their response to the pleas raised by the Central Government.