#Kolkata: ED investigation into the sale of Metro Dairy shares? Or a CBI investigation? Or a high-powered committee appointed by the High Court? These three speculations are going to end on Monday.
The High Court will give its verdict in the Metro Dairy public interest case on Monday. This case was pending for 4 years. A division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj will hear the case filed by State Congress President Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. The verdict is to be announced at 10.30 am.
Adhir filed a lawsuit against the sale of 56 percent shares of Metro Dairy. In the impatient case, the allegation was that the state had practically sold the shares at the price of water. The shares have been sold without heeding any rules and regulations. Even in the tender process, a group of MPs from Behrampur complained of opacity.
The case took a dramatic turn with the question of veteran Congress leader lawyer P Chidambaram. In May, Chidambaram was barred from appearing in the High Court on behalf of the state government. The former finance minister, a lawyer in Dundee, saw black clothes in the High Court neighborhood. Chidambaram’s car also got obstructed by the Congress lawyers. P Chidambaram left the High Court on that journey with the help of personal security guards. After that, P Chidambaram did not come to the Calcutta High Court in person to ask legal questions.
Protesting lawyers argued that Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, president of the state Congress, was fighting a legal battle against corruption in the Trinamool Congress-led state government. P Chidambaram is questioning the state government in the case filed by Adhir Chowdhury. It is very unfortunate, so they are showing this protest to Chidambaram. Senior lawyer Bikasharanjan Bhattacharya was impatient in the case.
Pratip Chatterjee, a lawyer attached to another case, said, ‘Metro Dairy was a for-profit company. Irregularities in every step of the decision to sell the company after 2012. Metro Dairy was 47 per cent owned by the state government, 10 per cent by the National Dairy Development Corporation and the remaining 43 per cent by Coventers. 10 per cent of the shares in National Dairy Development were first exchanged. It was later alleged that 48 per cent of the state’s shares were actually sold at water prices. The shares were sold to Coventers for around Tk 450 crore. It was later revealed that Coventers had sold only 10 per cent stake in Metro Dairy for around Rs 160 crore. We have therefore sought an inquiry into the matter by a high-powered committee headed by the ED or the CBI or the High Court.