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Hearing over in Jessop case; verdict reserved

Our Legal Correspondent

KOLKATA, Nov. 23

MR Justice K.J. Sengupta of the Calcutta High Court on Thursday heard the submission of the counsel of Jessop & Co Ltd Staff Association and concluded the hearing pursuant to an order passed by the Supreme Court. Judgement is kept reserved.

The association filed a writ petition challenging the decision of the Union Government to disinvest its share in Jessop & Co Ltd (JCL) and its contemplation to do so by selecting a buyer for it at Rs 18 crore.

After hearing, the court granted stay, restraining the Union Government to deal with its shares in JCL, and saying that the BIFR should not take any decision without the leave of the court.

Earlier, Bharat Bhari Udyog Nigam Ltd (BBUNL), under which JCL is operating, concluded its submission supporting the stand of the Union Government. While arguing the matter, the Government Counsel stated that though JCL is manufacturing EMV coaches and many other components for the Railways, it could not be said to be an industry in the strategic sector.

Railway transport is within strategic sector but the manufacturer of rolling stock relating to Railways cannot come within the meaning of strategic sector.

Ruia Cotex Ltd (RCL), the intending buyer, was not pleased with the High Court observation and went to Supreme Court, when a Division Bench of the High Court dismissed the appeal.

The Supreme Court, on November 12, 2002, also dismissed the SLP directing the single judge to dispose of the petition at the next date of hearing i.e., on November 21, 2002.

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