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Centre Admits Coal Goof-up Before SC, Seeks Time to Decide on De-allocation

The Centre on Thursday admitted before the Supreme Court that something went wrong with the allocation of coal blocks and that it could have been done in a more refined manner.

Published: 10th January 2014 07:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th January 2014 07:57 AM   |  A+A-

GE-Vahanvati_PTI

|File Photo

The Centre on Thursday admitted before the Supreme Court that something went wrong with the allocation of coal blocks and that it could have been done in a more refined manner. “Yes. I accept something had gone wrong.  We take decisions in good faith but somehow it goes wrong,” Attorney General G E Vahanvati informed the court.

“I take the point. Everything could have been done in a better way. But in 1991-92, the power situation was different,” he added, arguing that at the time, the critical need was to increase power generation. “What we did was in national interest. Ideally, we should have formed a national policy,” he said. The AG’s response came after a three judge bench headed by Justice Lodha said the process could have been managed better. “Your intentions are right. But the exercise made and the manner (in which) it was done... something was wrong. The whole thing could have been done in a better manner but it is for the executive to do,” the bench said.

Replying to the bench, the Attorney General virtually accepted that mistakes were committed by the government in the allocation of coal blocks.

“In hindsight, we can say something has gone wrong and some correction is required to be done,” he said, adding, that “everything could have been done in more refined and better manner. I accept my lordships view”.  At the outset of the hearing, the bench asked the AG about Centre’s stand on de-allocation of certain coal blocks. In response, Vahanvati submitted that the government would make its stand clear on the issue next week.

Congress trashes demand for PM resignation

Congress on Thursday dismissed the BJP demand for resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the wake of the Centre’s admission before the Supreme Court. “It is the habit of the BJP to seek the resignation of the prime minister. We do not pay heed to it,” party spokesperson Meem Afzal told reporters in New Delhi.



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