Home / Politics / Policy /  HC gives UK hedge fund TCI time to respond to govt’s reply

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Friday granted four weeks’ time to UK-based The Children’s Investment (TCI) Fund, a shareholder in Coal India Ltd (CIL), to respond to the reply of the Union government opposing the hedge-fund management’s allegation that the Centre was interfering with the pricing of coal.

“The petitioner (TCI) is allowed to file the rejoinder (to the reply of ministry of coal) within four weeks. List the matter for hearing on 9 May," justice Rajiv Shakdher said. Earlier, TCI had moved the high court alleging that the ministry of coal has not been allowing state-run CIL to function independently as a company and the interference on coal pricing has been detrimental to the commercial interests of the hedge-fund management.

The Centre, however, in its reply has denied the allegations levelled by TCI.

TCI also moved the Calcutta high court, in October this year, against the directors of CIL alleging they failed to perform their duties with adequate care and skill, leading to substantial financial loss for the state-run firm.

The fund has alleged that losses were caused by decisions to reverse a price increase made on 31 December 2011, failing to raise coal prices to market levels, and failing to take steps to increase and streamline production, causing loss of revenue and leading to coal blocks being allocated to third parties. It has also alleged that the directors failed to take an appropriate stand against the draft mining Bill and alleged failure to stop theft of coal.

TCI had also claimed in a press statement that by the end of current fiscal, “CIL will have lost 8,700 crore in pre-tax profits by reversing the price increase of 31 December 2011. Further, by failing to raise Fuel Supply Agreement coal prices to market levels, the directors have cost CIL a staggering 2.15 trillion in pre-tax profits since the IPO".

The petition before the Calcutta high court is likely to come up for hearing on 12 December.

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