Purnendu Chatterjee seeks relief at Company Law Board

New Delhi, Aug 3 | Updated: Aug 4 2005, 06:14am hrs
Taking forward its standoff with the West Bengal government, the Purnendu Chatterjee Group has sought relief from the Company Law Board (CLB), seeking to restrain the state government from transfering 7.5% of its equity to Indian Oil Corporation.

The Chatterjee Groups (TCG) petition was heard by CLB chairman S Balasubramanian, who posted the matter for further hearing tomorrow by when it has sought more details from the West Bengal government.

The standoff stems from the fact that TCG wants to acquire the state governments stake in HPL. It claims that the West Bengal government had agreed to this, but has now suddenly brought in IOC in the picture, without intimation.

It was mentioned before the principal bench that shares, representing 7.5% holding in HPL, were transferred by the state government to IOC this morning and this transaction was also registered with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).

It was also said that the state government had encashed the Rs 150 crore cheque which IOC had given in February as advance.

Currently, while the state government has about 36% in HPL, TCG holds about 61% and Tatas 3%.

"Counsel for the petitioner sought for interim relief...The company will furnish details as to when the cheque from IOC was encashed and when the shares were alloted to IOC at the time of next hearing," Mr Subramanian observed.

A counsel for the petitioners argued that transfer of equity in favour of IOC by the West Bengal government was a "clear breach of trust and faith" as it had, in four separate letters from 1994, said that the shareholding of Chatterjees company has to be improved and it will transfer its equity to TCG.