Indian Supreme Court

Indian labourers prepare the flooded fie

On 24 September 2014, the Indian Supreme Court cancelled 214 out of the 218 existing coal-mining licenses. The only mining licences which were not cancelled were four coal blocks made to Government controlled undertakings linked to major state power projects, and which did not involve a joint venture with a private company.

The decision follows a report from federal auditors in 2012, which found that India had lost roughly US $33bn due to coalfield rights being sold off cheaply. The audit report was supported by an earlier judgment of the Indian Supreme Court on 25 August 2014 where the Court declared that all 218 coal mining licenses both to private and state companies were assigned illegally by the central government in a process that lacked transparency and was arbitrary and illegal.