"We are not going into it. Whether your case was considered by the screening committee or not is not an issue. We have already held that the entire process was flawed and illegal," a three judge-bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur said.
    
"Since the writ petitions have already been disposed of, these impleadment applications cannot be allowed. We had held that all the allocations were illegal and hence, consequences will follow," the bench, also comprising justices Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri, said.
    
The court, on September 24, had quashed allocation of 214 out of 218 coal blocks alloted to various companies since 1993 terming it as "fatally flawed" and allowed the Centre to take over operation of 42 such blocks which are functional.
    
During the hearing today, the counsel for some of the affected firms referred to the CAG findings and the court's judgement and said that they only dealt with overground mining and consequential illegal gains made by the companies concerned and did not relate to the underground mines.
    
"Our's is an underground mining site. The CAG report did not deal with it and even the court, in its judgement, did not deal with it as no details with regard to such mining was produced," one of the lawyers said.
    
Firms like Tata Steel, Rathi Steel and Prakash Industries and some joint venture companies, having state-owned firms as partners, had moved the court seeking impleadment as parties. The court, however, dismissed their pleas.
    
The court only agreed to hear on December 16 the two pleas challenging the Central government's recent Ordinance on coal block allocations.
    
Later, Prashant Bhushan, appearing for NGO Common Cause, raised the issue of former CBI Director Ranjit Sinha meeting several persons, being probed for their alleged roles in coal scam.
    
"Now CBI Director (Ranjit Sinha) is gone. Where is the question of his interfering," the bench said.
    
The first prayer that he be asked to not to interfere with the probe becomes "infructous", he said, adding, "But the second prayer for constitution a SIT is still there. Now he has retired, but he did try to scuttle the probe."

Latest News from India News Desk