A bench headed by Justice RM Lodha asked the Centre to satisfy that pick and choose policy was not adopted by it to favour some companies and level playing field was there for other firms also. 
    
"It is not for charity. It cannot be given for charity," the bench said. 

Attorney General GE Vahanvati replied that coal blocks was allocated for promoting social welfare policy and it was not given to companies for commercial exploitation.
    
"Decision was backed by the social welfare policy and coal block was not allocated for commercial exploitation. Once the block is allocated, the companies cannot sell it but they have to use it for power generation and the power generated has to be sold to government electricity board," the AG replied.
    
He clarified that revenue maximization was not the idea behind the coal allocation and it was done to promote investment in other sectors which were facing hurdles for shortage of power.
    
"Investment is OK. It is open for the government to give incentive but you must provide level playing field to all players," the bench said.  

"The question is whether they have been pick and choose policy and whether level playing field was given or not," the bench added.

(Agencies) 

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