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Friday, May 28, 2010

SC gives go-ahead to divestment in UP sugar mills

The Supreme Court today gave the go-ahead to disinvestment in 11 sugar mills owned by the UP government, but subjected the outcome to its final judgement.

A bench comprising Justice G S Singhvi and Justice C K Prasad said that the UP government can go ahead with the bidding process as per schedule on June 3 but the "outcome would be subject to final adjudication. Any action taken by the respondent (UP government) shall be subject to the final outcome of the petition."

The Court's direction came over a petition filed by one Rajiv Kumar Mishra, who challenged the bidding of 11 operational sugar units in the state.

The UP government, in 2007, embarked on a drive to privatise sugar mills, but with not many takers for its loss-making units decided to sell the 11 operational units first.

However, the decision to privatise operational units has since run into a legal tangle, stalling the disinvestment process.

Earlier, the Allahabad High Court had also given a go- ahead of the proposed disinvestment by the state government but had specifically said that the mills should not be closed down and the pattern of land usage and employment should not be altered.

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