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Calcutta HC dismisses CBI probe in Metro Diary disinvestment

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Kolkata, June 13 (Ajit Weekly News) A division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Monday dismissed a plea for a CBI probe into the proceeds of the West Bengal government’s disinvestment of its stake in erstwhile joint venture, Metro Dairy Limited.

Calcutta High Court’s Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajasrshi Bharadwaj observed that since the state government did not adopt any opaque sale of shares, there is no need for any intervention by the court in the process. The division bench also observed that the disinvestment process was neither arbitrary nor illegal.

The division bench of the Calcutta High Court gave this verdict on a petition by West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC) president and senior party MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury alleging lack of transparency in the process in in which the state government disinvested its 47 per cent stake in Metro Dairy Limited. Chowdhury in its petition alleged that the disinvestment resulted in massive loss of money for the state exchequer.

In this petition, Chowdhury pointed out that the state government in 2017 sold its 47 per cent stake to private entity Keventer Group at a throwaway price of Eventer just Rs 85 crore. In the same year, pointed out Chowdhury, Keventer Group sold 15 per cent of that 47 per cent to a Singapore- based entity at Rs 135 crore. He also alleged that the state government disinvested its stake in Metro Dairy Limited in May 2017 by calling an open tender or giving any advertisement in any newspaper on this count.

To recall, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram had appeared on behalf of Metro Dairy Limited. Last month, when he came to Calcutta High Court for hearing, a group of Congress- affiliated advocates agitated against him and shouted “Go-Back” slogans. They demanded that Chidambaram should sever his ties with Congress after this development.

–Ajit Weekly News

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