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SC to review divestment judgement
November 17, 2003 11:29 IST
Last Updated: November 17, 2003 14:46 IST
For the first time, the Supreme Court on Monday agreed to have a fresh look at its recent judgement on Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd sell-off cases holding that privatisation of PSUs created by legislation required prior approval of Parliament.
Hearing a petition challenging the divestment of rail coach manufacturing company Jessop and Co, a bench comprising Chief Justice V N Khare and Justice S B Sinha observed that "we are primarily concerned whether divestment requires Parliamentary approval and whether it is legally permitted."
This observation came after Attorney General Soli J Sorabjee contended that though many decisions for privatising PSUs had been taken prior to the September 16 judgement, halting privatisation of oil PSUs for want of prior Parliamentary approval, these have now been challenged in many high courts relying on the HPCL judgement.
"The decision of the apex court was not to be applied to all the cases where divestment decision was taken prior to the judgement," he said, adding certain observations in the HPCL judgement required to be examined afresh as they have far reaching consequences.
Meanwhile, the apex court stayed the proceedings before various high courts on petitions challenging the divestment of Shipping Coporation of India, Hindustan Copper Ltd and Burns Standard Corporation Ltd as the Union government on Monday sought transfer of these petitions to the Supreme Court for an authoritative pronouncement.