The Supreme Court of India has cancelled 214 of the 218 coal mining licences awarded by the government in the past two decades.
It declared the licences illegal last month as they didn’t go through a “fair and transparent” process.
Only four of the units awarded between 1993 and 2011, which are linked to major power projects, are allowed to continue.
The Court has also imposed a penalty on all cancelled coal block holders for “non-operation” of the mines. The companies have been given six months to wind down their operations, which means they can keep producing from their mines until the March 31st deadline.
Reports suggest the Indian Government will now be free to auction off the cancelled blocks after the end of this fiscal year.