A three-judge bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur also rejected separate pleas of three private firms including Jindal Steel Ltd and Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) that the time to pay penalty for alleged illegal mining be extended beyond present deadline of December 31.

The firms had also prayed that they be allowed to participate in the auction process without paying the penalty by December end.

 They also alleged that one of the clauses of the recent Ordinance bars a firm from taking part in the auction process if it does not pay the penalty within the stipulated time.

"The idea was to collect the penalty and not to create a situation where we cannot pay," senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for one of the firms, said, adding that the time to pay be extended and firms be allowed to take part in the auction process.

"I am strongly opposing this. They have come at the last moment. This is misconceived," Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, said.

"We are not inclined to grant the relief," the bench, also comprising justices Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri, said while rejecting the pleas of the three firms.

Latest News from India News Desk