A Bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu, which rejected the Centre's plea seeking transfer of five petitions of private firms from various high courts to the apex court, also refused to stay an order of the Madhya Pradesh High Court allowing BLA Power Ltd to take part in the auction process for allocation of coal mines in the state.
"We are not saying anything on the merits of the case. It is a debatable issue (whether BLA Power is related to prior allottee BLA Industries of a coal block)...
"We are at the stage of an interim order. Moreover, you (Centre) did not file any counter/reply affidavit before the (MP) High Court," the bench, also comprising justices A K Sikri and Arun Mishra, said while dismissing the petitions filed by the Ministry of Coal.
The Madhya Pradesh High Court, on January 29, had allowed BLA Power Ltd to take part in the process of auctioning of two coal mines - Gotitoria (East) and Gotitoria (West) mine in Mahapani coalfields of Madhya Pradesh.
BLA Industries, a sister concern of BLA Power Ltd, was allocated these coal blocks in Madhya Pradesh in June 1996, which got cancelled following the Supreme Court verdict.
At the outset, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Coal Ministry, said that M/s Jindal Power and Steel, M/s BLA Power and M/s Sova Ispat Ltd have filed five separate petitions in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Calcutta high courts respectively.
"The questions of law that arise in the pending petitions are similar and are substantial questions challenging the validity of The Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Ordinance, 2014 and the validity of the provisions of Standard Tender Document for auction of coal blocks being held in pursuance of the judgment dated August 25, 2014 and order dated September 24, 2014 of this Court...," he said and sought their transfer to the apex court.
However, the bench after giving an hour-long hearing, declined to give any relief to the Centre.

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