HPL dispute: Promoter argues for international arbitration

Challenging the arbitration process to be initiated at an international forum on Monday by the Chatterjee Group,a promoter of Haldia Petrochemicals Limited,HPL advocate Pratap Chatterjee pleaded in the Calcutta High Court that Purnendu Chatterjee of the Chatterjee Group failed to provide funds in 2005 according to an agreement.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published:May 4, 2012 6:02 am

Challenging the arbitration process to be initiated at an international forum on Monday by the Chatterjee Group,a promoter of Haldia Petrochemicals Limited,HPL advocate Pratap Chatterjee pleaded in the Calcutta High Court that Purnendu Chatterjee of the Chatterjee Group failed to provide funds in 2005 according to an agreement.

Therefore,the state government and West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation had to take a huge loan from the market,leading to the crisis in the company,he argued.

According to the petition filed by the state government,HPL incurred a loss of Rs 1,900 crore in the last four years. Advocate Chatterjee said the agreement with Chatterjee Group was cancelled when Purnendu Chatterjee failed to provide funds worth Rs 500 crore in 2005. So Chatterjee Group could not claim transfer of shares from the state government to the company,he said.

The Bengal government had filed an an application seeking an injunction on the proceeding initiated by Chatterjee Group at the International Court of Arbitration in Paris on the issue of transferring shares of HPL. Chatterjee Group wanted to buy 155 million shares to control majority stake in HPL but the state government denied the transfer of shares.

Advocate Chatterjee concluded his argument today,and the counsel of Chatterjee Group,Sudipta Sarkar,presented her plea.

Sarkar said there was no bar preventing Chatterjee Group from approaching the International Chamber of Commerce for arbitration at the International Court of Arbitration at Paris. There was a provision in the agreement with the government that the company might go for international arbitration,said Sarkar.

The hearing will continue tomorrow.

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