Calcutta, March 26: Calcutta High Court has put fetters on Dunlop owner Pawan Ruia, barring him from selling any property of the company, by appointing a provisional liquidator.
The court passed the interim order in relation to a case between Dunlop and Madura Coats, which had filed the liquidation petition in 2009, claiming the tyre maker owed it Rs 2 crore.
Dunlop said it would appeal against the order at the division bench of the high court.
Legal circles said the court direction followed an intervention by the Bengal government, which opined against the liquidation of Dunlop.
Advocate general Anindya Mitra told Justice Sanjiv Banerjee that the state government was against the liquidation of the company as that would mean loss of job for many people.
Mitra informed the bench that the state wanted the revival of Dunlop and was ready to provide assistance to the company.
Our government does not want Dunlop to be sent for liquidation. For the generation of employment in the state, we want its revival. Our government is ready to provide assistance for the revival of the company, Mitra said.
The states assurance prompted the court to appoint a provisional liquidator to ensure that the Dunlop management did not sell any of its properties till the disposal of the liquidation petitions pending in court.
The judge decided to start the hearing of all the 12 liquidation petitions moved against the company from tomorrow.
Dunlop welcomed the state governments move. We consider this to be a positive development. We hope the company would be able to open the Sahagunj unit soon, a company spokesperson said.
State labour minister Purnendu Bose said, We do not want Dunlop to go into liquidation. We will do what we can to revive it. I will study the courts order tomorrow.
Justice Banerjee also mentioned that the provisional liquidator would try to bring back any asset that might have been fraudulently sold by the management after 2009.
A company is barred from selling any asset from the time a court admits a liquidation case against the company.
Madura Coats had filed the petition in 2009. In January, it moved a fresh petition, alleging that despite the liquidation cases pending in court, Dunlop had sold some of its property.
Madura Coats had also claimed that the Dunlop management was selling its machinery kept at the Sahagunj factory in Hooghly.
Today, when the case came up for hearing before Justice Banerjee, U.S. Menon, the lawyer appearing for Madura Coats, said, When liquidation petitions are pending before the court, the company cannot sell its properties.
Ajoy Chowdhury, the counsel appearing for Dunlop, denied the allegation.
Ruia bought Dunlop from Manu Chhabrias Jumbo Group in late 2005.
So far, Ruias attempts to run the two units at Sahagunj and Ambattur in Chennai have failed. Work remains suspended at the Sahagunj unit now.