HC dismisses transfer of HPL shares to TCG, upholds IOC entry

HC dismisses transfer of HPL shares to TCG, upholds IOC entry


Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on 21 september set aside an order of Company Law Board that directed West Bengal government to exit from Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd by selling its stake to joint venture partner The Chatterjee Group (TCG).

A bench of Justice Jayanta Biswas also dismissed the CLB order that asked the state government to transfer its 155 million shares in HPL to Purnendu Chatterjee-led TCG. The Court, however, upheld Indian Oil Corp.’s entry into HPL.

Allowing an appeal by the West Bengal government and West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC), the Court quashed the CLB order passed on 31 January this year.

Justice Biswas also rejected an appeal by TCG against the CLB’s order that upheld allotment of 150 million shares to IOC by HPL. This was a fresh allotment by HPL to IOC.

Besides, Justice Biswas refused a prayer by TCG counsels to stay his order for two weeks for the company to appeal against the order before a higher bench.

The West Bengal government has been locked in a battle with TCG for control of HPL since last year. The state and WBIDC had claimed that transfer of shares as ordered by CLB will give almost total ownership control of HPL to TCG.

WBIDC had claimed before the High Court that CLB granted transfer of shares from WBIDC to TCG even without any such prayer from TCG. The state agency had also questioned CLB’s order to WBIDC to exit from HPL in favour of TCG.