Sugar policy row: SC seeks Bajaj Hindusthans reply

Written by Indu Bhan | Indu Bhan | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 8 2011, 07:43am hrs
The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday sought reply from Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar & Industries as to why it should be allowed to claim exemptions under the non-existent Sugar Industry Promotion Policy, 2004.

A Bench headed by Justice Dalveer Bhandari while issuing the notice to the company also stayed the Allahabad High Courts order that directed the cane Commissioner to decide the sugar mill's application afresh and had in effect granted benefits to it under the erstwhile policy. Besides, the HC on November 11 last year had directed the Commissioner to revive the committee whose mandate had expired after the policy ceased to exist since June 4, 2007.

This, as per the UP governments petition, was despite the sugar mills claim for incentives under the non-existent policy being dismissed. The state government argued that the impugned directions would open a plethora of claims for similar exemption.

Senior counsel PS Patwaria told the apex court that the impugned directions were contrary to the HCs order of May 2008 which allowed Bajaj to enjoy limited benefits under the 2004 policy even on the date when the policy was revoked.

By preferring the solitary writ petition... the same sugar mill (Bajaj) despite its challenge to the withdrawal of the policy being dismissed under earlier, had managed to persuade the same Division Bench to direct the Commissioner to examine the eligibility of the sugar mill to the benefits of the 2004 policy, the state government said in its petition.