New Delhi: The Supreme Court today cancelled 214 of 218 coal mine permits given to companies for their own use since 1993. Following is the chronology of events leading to the judgement:
* July, 1992: The Coal Ministry orders setting up of a screening committee to consider proposals from private power companies for captive coal mining on first-cum-first-serve basis. Screening committee guidelines give preference to large projects of power and steel companies.
* July 14, 1992: Many coal blocks, which were not in the production plans of Coal India or the Singareni Collieries Company, were identified and a list of 143 blocks were prepared.
* 1993-2010: A total of 70 coal mines or blocks were allocated between 1993 and 2005, 53 in 2006, 52 in 2007, 24 in 2008, 16 in 2009 and 1 in 2010. In all, 216 blocks were given between 1993 and 2010. Of these, 24 were taken away at different points in time, effectively leaving the total number of coal permits at 194.
* March, 2012: A draft CAG report accuses the government of 'inefficient' allocation of blocks during 2004-2009; estimates windfall gains to allottees at Rs 10.7 lakh crore.
* May 29, 2012: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh offers to give up his public life if found guilty in the scam.
* May 31, 2012: The CVC, based on a complaint of two BJP MPs, Prakash Javadekar and Hansraj Ahir, directs a CBI inquiry.
* June, 2012: The Coal Ministry forms an inter-ministerial panel to review the process of allocation of blocks and to decide either on de-allocations or forfeiture of bank guarantees. Since then, the government has taken back about 80 coal fields while bank guarantees in 42 cases have been forfeited.
* August 2012: CAG's final report, tabled in Parliament, tones down loss to exchequer figure to Rs 1.86 lakh crore.
* August 25, 2012: The government claims CAG's presumptive loss theory flawed, no mining yet.
* August 27, 2012: PM says CAG flawed; "The observations of the CAG are clearly disputable."
* September 6, 2012: A PIL in the Supreme Court seeks cancellation of 194 coal block allotments. The apex court begins monitoring the CBI probe into the coal field allocations
* March 2013: The apex court asks CBI not to share probe details with the government.
* April 23, 2013: The Standing Committee on Coal and Steel in a report tabled in Parliament says coal blocks distributed between 1993-2008 done in unauthorised manner. Says allotment of mines where production not started should be cancelled
* April 26, 2013: CBI Director Ranjit Sinha submits affidavit saying investigation report shared with Law Minister Ashwani Kumar.
* May 10, 2013: Ashwani Kumar resigns.
* June 11, 2013: CBI registers first information report (FIR) against Naveen Jindal and Dasari Narayana Rao.
* October 16, 2013: CBI files an FIR against industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and former Cal Secretary P C Parakh.
* July 2014: The Supreme Court sets up a special CBI court to try all coal field allocation cases.
* August, 2014: The CBI decides to close its case against Birla and Parakh.
*August 25, 2014: The Supreme Court rules that coal blocks allocated by the government between 1993 and 2010 were illegal.
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