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Sep 14, 2012 at 03:19pm IST

SC issues notice to Centre to explain coal block allocation

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the UPA government over coalgate saying it will check if guidelines were followed in allocating coal blocks. "The government needs to explain coal allocations," the court said. "Coal allocation is distribution of state property," it added.

Turning down the Centre's plea that the court should not go into the issue as it is being looked into by a Parliamentary committee, the apex court said "these are different exercises."

A bench of justices RM Lodha and AR Dave said the petition raised serious questions and "it requires explanation from the Government".

"There is difference in exercise done by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Parliament and PAC can proceed with the issue on the basis of the CAG report. We don't want to encroach upon their exercise but the petition raises different things altogether. There are sufficient averments which require explanation from you," the court said.

The bench also made it clear that it is confining itself only to the aspect of guidelines formulated by the Centre for allocation of coal blocks.

The court passed the order while hearing a PIL filed by advocate ML Sharma on the alleged coalgate scam.

(With additional information from PTI)