Supreme Court refuses to review order on Cairn stake sale to Vedanta

The bench had commended the govt for the deal it called a prudent economic decision.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Published:October 6, 2013 1:32 am

The Supreme Court has refused to interfere with its approval to the government’s nod for the $8.48 billion deal by the Vedanta Group to acquire a majority stake in Cairn India,which had rights to explore oil and natural gas blocks in Rajasthan.

A bench led by Justice KS Radhakrishnan dismissed a review petition filed against the court’s verdict on May 9.

“We have gone through the grounds urged in the review petition with meticulous care and we do not find any reason to entertain this review petition. The review petition is,accordingly,dismissed,” held the bench in a recent order. A curative petition can be filed against the dismissal of the review petition.

The bench had earlier gave a thumbs up to the deal while commending the government for what it called a prudent economic decision.

“We are of the view that on facts,as well as on law,the ONGC and the Government of India have taken a prudent commercial and economic decision in public interest. We are not prepared to say that the decision is mala fide or actuated by any extraneous or irrelevant considerations or improper motive,” the bench had said while dismissing a PIL challenging the rationale of the decision.

It noted that even if a decision turns out to be wrong eventually,a court would not be justified in questioning it if it was bona fide.

The verdict had upheld not just a major deal between two private firms in the quest of commercial discovery of oil and natural gas under the government’s exploration licensing policy in India,but also sets a precedent on judicial intervention in business decisions.

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