Jindal Steel moves Delhi High Court against Odisha coal block auction, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld

Jindal Steel moves Delhi High Court against Odisha coal block auction

New Delhi: Jindal Steel and Power on Tuesday moved the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of the grant of an Odisha coal block claiming it was “unfairly prevented” from submitting a higher bid.

The company lost the Chhendipada (revised) coal block to Rungta Sons Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of Jharkhand-based Rungta Mines, which emerged as the highest bidder in the February 28 e-auction for commercial coal mines.

A division bench led by Chief Justice SC Sharma posted the matter for hearing in April.

Seeking a second auction, JSPL alleged that it was unfairly prevented from submitting its next higher bid on February 27 due to technical glitches on the MSTC portal during the e-auction of the mine that has 513 million tonne geological reserves.

JSPL, one of the three technically qualified bidders for the coal mine, said it “was actively placing bids during e-auction for the coal mine…, however, its higher bid, though placed on the portal, was not accepted on account of a technical glitch of the MSTC portal. The glitch is not attributable to it in as much as the glitch resulted in premature completion of the auction” to its detriment and the public interest.”

According to the petition, the company was vigilant and had immediately brought the issue of technical glitch to the notice of SBI Capital Markets, advisor to the coal ministry in the auction process.