It also sought to know whether the auction process could be kept on hold till it examines the issues raised by JSPL and its promoter Naveen Jindal.
    
"Does Coal Ordinance give power to change end-use of block? It (Ordinance) does not appear to give them power to change the end-use," a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva observed and questioned, "Why can't we hold back auction till we examine it? What is the tearing hurry?"
    
The bench has also questioned the Coal Ministry on why captive power use has been excluded when the same has been included in the ordinance.
    
The bench made the observations and asked questions while hearing the pleas of Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Naveen Jindal who have opposed the government's decision to change end use of two coal blocks in Chhattisgarh and Odisha which had been earlier allotted to them.
    
The bench listed the matter for further hearing on Friday when Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain would inform the court about the government's stand and the reason why they changed the end-use of the coal blocks.

The Coal Ministry through its December 18, 2014, order had changed the end-use of various coal blocks, including Utkal B in Odisha and Gare Palma IV/6 in Chhattisgarh, which had been earlier allocated to JSPL for steel and sponge iron production, respectively.
    
The government by its order had changed end-use of these two blocks from steel and iron to power, excluding captive power use as well.
    
During the proceedings, senior advocates Kapil Sibal, A M Singhvi and Jayant Bhushan, who appeared for JSPL, said the ordinance does not provide for change of end-use and if it does, then to that extent it is unconstitutional.

"We are challenging the exercise of power and not the ordinance," Sibal said and added that JSPL is unable to participate in the ongoing auction process due to change of end-use.
    
He said the company is currently suffering a loss of Rs 250 crore per month and if it does not get the block then over 30,000 of its workers will become jobless.
    
Sibal also said the company would have to import coal at a cost of Rs 2500 per metric tonne when it could have got the same for Rs 500.
    
Sibal claimed that if it could participate in the auction, JSPL would win it as it has already set up a steel unit.

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