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AG likely to give opinion on HPCL, BPCL by Friday

January 08, 2003 16:12 IST
Attorney General Soli Sorabjee is likely to give by Friday his opinion on legal aspects of privatisation of oil public sector units Hindusan Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, which were nationalised through Acts of Parliament.

Divestment ministry had given its clarifications earlier this week on the proposal to divest government stake in HPCL and BPCL, as had been sought by AG during his meeting with Divestment Minister Arun Shourie on Saturday last, sources said.

Sorabjee is likely to submit by Friday his opinion, which Shourie had promised in Parliament in the wake of queries from opposition members of Parliament on the legality of the government decision.

Shourie and top officials of the divestment ministry had an hour-long meeting with Sorabjee during the day as a sequel to government seeking AG's opinion on whether or not the two PSUs could be privatised without an amendment or repeal of Acts under which they were acquired in 1970s.

Sources said the meeting was crucial in the process of forming an opinion on a complex matter.

The Cabinet Committee on Divestment had once again deferred a decision on December 27 on modality and quantum of divestment in the two oil corporations for want of AG's opinion.

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