The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed Tata Power’s petition challenging the government’s decision to allow Reliance Power to divert coal from the captive mines of Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) for use in other projects, but the Tatas decided to appeal.
Notwithstanding the decision, Tata Power said it would now approach the Supreme Court on the issue of diversion of coal meant for one project to other power plants.
A division Bench comprising Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Siddharth Mridul dismissed the petition filed by Tata Power after observing that the company has no locus standi (legal position) to file this petition and was not maintainable.
“The writ petition suffered from delay. We do not see any warrant for exercising our power. This writ petition stands dismissed,” said the division bench.
Tata Power, which was one of the bidders for the Sasan project, had moved the High Court in the first week of January, terming the government’s decision “arbitrary” and “illegal”, and requested the government be directed to produce all records along with the Letter of Intent issued to RPower on August 1, 2007, for the Sasan UMPP.
The government countered the writ petition saying Tata Power had suppressed material facts and all bidders including Tata Power were aware of surplus coal and the provisions for its utilisation. The decision of the High Court upholds government’s stand that Tata Power has no legal right to file the petition since it withdrew from Sasan UMPP’s tender process.
Reliance Power officials said the decision of the High Court would pave the way for the company to use surplus coal from the mines of Sasan for its 4,000-megawatt Chitrangi power project in Madhya Pradesh.
Reliance Power has access to 2 billion tonnes of coal reserves in the coal mines allotted to it for Sasan and Tilaiya ultra mega power projects.