An Indian has said that there was "absolutely no evidence" of collusion in the low winning bids for three of the 33 coal mines put up for auction by the government over the past two months.
The government earlier rejected four winning bids - three from Jindal Steel and Power Ltd and one from aluminium maker BALCO - after examining nine blocks whose unexpectedly low bids prompted the designation "outliers".
In a recent interim order, the Delhi High Court observed that all bidders appeared to have acted as per business interests and there were no irrational decisions.
The government, represented by P.S. Narsimhan, said it was not alleging cartel activity by any party but was looking into the matter.
The court also appointed state-run Coal India as custodian for the Gare Palma 4/1, 4/2 and 4/3 mines in Chhattisgarh state until a final decision is reached. The next hearing is scheduled for 13 April.
The court hearing on the fourth block, for which Jindal Steel submitted the winning bid, is scheduled for later this month.
Edited from source by Joseph Green
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