In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court on Monday said all the allocations of coal blocks since 1993 were illegal and arbitrary.
The Supreme Court said all the allocations cleared by 36 screening committees in the last two decades were neither fair nor transparent.
“No objective criteria was followed and guidelines were breached in coal block allocations,” a bench headed by Chief Justice of India, R.M. Lodha, said.
The apex court, however, stopped short of cancelling the allocations, saying the matter will be heard on September 1 for further action.
The Supreme Court was examining the allocation of nearly 200 coal blocks in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.
The CBI, which is investigating the multi-crore scam, has alleged that for several years, mining licences were given arbitrarily to private companies without a transparent bidding process.