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Jindal Power Ltd will retain control of its coal washery and related plant facilities near two coal mines in Chhattisgarh, which Coal India Ltd (CIL) was trying to take over, Delhi High Court ordered today.
"You can't get that," a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva told CIL, which said it needed the washery to clean the coal mined from the two mines - Gare Palma IV/2 and IV/3 - of which it has been made the custodian by the court.
The court said the washery and the other plant facilities which CIL wanted to takeover were excluded from auction as per the tender document, and thus the PSU cannot have it.
The court also issued notice to CIL and the Coal Ministry seeking their responses on Jindal Power Ltd's (JPL) plea by May 7 the next date of hearing.
"Meanwhile, the operation of communication dated April 6, 2014, and similar communications (directing JPL to hand over the washery and plant facilities) shall not operate. In the meanwhile, petitioner (JPL) will retain control over washery ... as these were excluded from auction as is evident (from tender document)," it said.
The court rejected CIL's plea that it required the washery to wash the coal mined by it, saying "you set up a washery".
CIL also contended that JPL had no right over the mining land on which the washery and other plant facilities were located as the lease is now with it.
But the court refused to accept the argument saying the units had been excluded from the auction so they cannot be taken over. JPL has challenged CIL's order to hand over its coal washery and related plant facilities, saying they are "essential for continued operations" of its thermal power plant in Chhattisgarh.
The High Court had on March 27 made CIL the custodian of the two mines, after the government had on March 20 annulled the tender with respect to the two. JPL had placed the winning bid for the two mines.
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