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Status quo on HPL share sale

Calcutta, Nov. 28: The Bengal government’s plan to transfer its stake in Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd to Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has been deferred till December 16.

Justice I.P. Mukerji of Calcutta High Court today ordered a status quo on the HPL share sale process till that date.

The judge today specifically referred to a block of 15.5-crore shares whose ownership is being claimed both by the state and The Chatterjee Group, the private promoter of HPL.

As of now, the shares are registered in the name of the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation.

The WBIDC has selected Indian Oil to transfer its entire holding of 67.5 crore shares, or 39.9 per cent of the paid-up capital, including the 15.5-crore block of shares.

“The interim order will abide by the order of the Supreme Court and if the apex court of the country in the meantime issues any order in regard to the issue, the (SC’s) order will be operative,” Mukerji, after passing today’s order, said.

The high court’s observation refers to another pending issue in the apex court, which will decide whether TCG can go for arbitration to the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris over the 15.5-crore shares.

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