Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury … Petitioner
State of West Bengal … Respondents
WPA 22753 of 2018
Decided on June 13, 2022, [Reserved on: 17.05.2022]
The Calcutta High Court today refused to initiate a probe into the Metro Dairy Share Disinvestment, by holding that no case has been made out by the PIL petitioner, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, West Bengal Congress President, for interference and investigation and the process of the State is transparent and does not call for interference. The PIL was consequently dismissed.
Metro Dairy was established in 1991 as a public-private venture. The state-run West Bengal Milk Producers Federation had 47 percent stake, and the remaining 53 percent was owned by Keventer Agro Ltd. In 2017, the West Bengal government had approved the sale of its 47 percent stake to Keventer in a public auction for Rs 85 crore.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj while orally dictating the order in open Court opined that the policy decision of the West Bengal government to sell its 47 per cent stake in Metro Dairy in an auction which was purchased in the auction by Keventer for Rs 85 crores was neither illegal nor arbitrary.
In 2018, Adhir Ranjan Choudhury, had filed the PIL challenging the policy of the government, the valuation, the process of disinvestment and the ultimate sale, all of which has now been upheld.
Keventer was represented by the team of Fox & Mandal led by Mr. Debanjan Mandal, Partner, Mr. Kunal Vajani, Of Counsel, Mr. Biswajit Kumar, Partner, Mr. Debayan Sen, Senior Associate, Mr. Utkarsh Kulvi, Senior Associate and Ms. Mahima Cholera, Senior Associate. Mr. P. Chidambaram, Senior Advocate led the arguments on behalf of Keventer Agro Limited.