A special court began hearing arguments on framing of charges from September 8 in a coal blocks allocation scam case in which Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda, his son and others were named as accused by the CBI.
The Supreme Court on August 25 declared all coal block allocations between 1993 and 2010 illegal but stopped short of cancelling them, a verdict that cast a shadow of uncertainty over investments running into thousands of crores in the sector that is crucial for the revival of the economy.
As the Attorney General was unable to provide a specific list of the blocks, the court asked the government to submit a list of operational mines by September 8 and said the next hearing will be held on September 9.
According to the coal ministry website, 27 coal blocks were already producing as of last year and several others are on the verge of starting production.
Top companies that have been producing coal include RPG Industries at the Sarisatolli coal block in West Bengal, Hindalco Industries at Talabira in Odisha, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd in Gare-Palma in Chhattisgarh, Prakash Industries at a coal block in Chotia in Chhatisgarh and Usha Martin Ltd at a coal block in Katuria, Jharkhand. More coal blocks are likely to start producing soon this year, according to the coal ministry.