Calcutta, Sept. 29: The Supreme Court is expected to deliver its judgment on the Haldia Petrochemical ownership dispute case tomorrow, raising hopes that the company will now be able to put its troubled past behind.
The judgment would be the culmination of a six-year old legal battle that begun when The Chatterjee Group, one of the principal owners, dragged the Bengal government, the other major shareholder, to the Company Law Board over a stake sale deal.
The matter finally landed in the Supreme Court where hearing was over last year. The judgment comes 10 months later.
Meanwhile, the Trinamul Congress came to power in Bengal after defeating the Left Front government, which had snapped the stake sale deal with TCG giving it majority control, after an alleged breach of contract.
The new government is much more favourable to the TCG chairman than the previous one. Chatterjee has now been made chairman of the company from board meeting to board meeting.
The new government has also initiated a process to eventually sell its stake to TCG by asking SBI Capital Markets to do a valuation of its assets.
We (the state government) have taken a decision for the valuation of the assets of HPL. We have moved the file… it will now be assessed by a renowned evaluator, state industry minister Partha Chatterjee said.
We want the (evaluation) report as soon as possible and we are hopeful that maybe we can get it within a month, said Chatterjee.
In case of a decisive judgment tomorrow, the decks will be cleared for the process of government exit.
The companys performance has been affected because of the ownership dispute as banks and financial institutions are not inclined to give it further loans.
The state government through the WBIDC holds 51.267 per cent and TCG holds 36.45 per cent share in HPL according to the registered records. TCG has contested this claim.