Kolkata: The Calcutta high court on Thursday extended status quo on the sale of 155 million shares of ailing Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL), over the control of which The Chatterjee Group (TCG) and West Bengal government are embroiled in a legal battle.

TCG, one of the promoters of HPL, prayed before the Calcutta high court for extension of status quo on the sale of the shares, stating that its appeal on its right to go for arbitration at the Arbitration Cell of International Chamber of Commerce at Paris was pending before the Supreme Court.

If the state government, which had invited bids for the sale of the 155 million shares, is allowed to go ahead with the sale, its appeal would have no value, counsels for TCG submitted before the court and prayed for protection.

Justice Mukerji extended the status quo till 16 December, observing that as the subject matter of the disputed 155 million shares was pending before the apex court, all should wait till the verdict was delivered.

The trial court of justice Mukerji had earlier restrained the state government from dealing with the disputed 155 million shares of HPL and transfer of the shares to any third party. Challenging this, the state government, WBIDC and HPL, which is at present under the management control of the state, moved the appeal court.

The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) had bid for the shares of HPL, which the state wanted to disinvest. TCG moved the Supreme Court against this order and on 1 November, the apex court held that the trial court order restraining the state government from taking any step for disinvestment of HPL’s 155 million shares, till disposal of the issue on TCG’s right to go for arbitration in Paris, was proper.

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