The Calcutta High Court on Monday dismissed a petition filed by Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, seeking an investigation into the sale of 47 per cent stake in Metro Dairy Ltd by the West Bengal government.
A division bench, presided by Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava, dismissed the public interest litigation (PIL), holding that the stake sale was neither illegal nor arbitrary.
The bench, also comprising Justice R Bharadwaj, held that the state had not adopted non-transparent or opaque measures for the sale of shares to Keventer Agro, and as such no case is made out for interference in the petition.
In his PIL, Chowdhury alleged that the state government sold its stake in Metro Dairy at a very low price, without following a transparent process and sans any justifiable reason.
He had appealed for the appointment of a high-powered committee, headed by a sitting judge of the high court, to investigate the sale.
The state government had offered to sell its equity in Metro Dairy in May 2017 for a base price of Rs 85.43 crore, and Keventer Agro offered Rs 85.5 crore for buying it.
The West Bengal government held 47 per cent in Metro Diary, while Keventer Agro held 43 per cent stake and the rest 10 per cent was held by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).
NDDB sold its stake to ICICI Bank, which was then acquired by Keventer, the court was informed.
By acquiring the state governments stake, Keventer owned 100 per cent stake in Metro Dairy.
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