In a major goof up,the Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) on Friday moved a plea in the Calcutta High Court saying that it wanted to withdraw its October 26 writ petition seeking direction to Haldia Bulk Terminals (HBT) to resume its normal cargo handling operation at Haldia dock. A few hours later,embarrassed KoPT officials said another prayer to the court will be submitted urging for the recall of todays order allowing the withdrawal of the writ petition.
It began with the senior counsel of KoPT,Biswarup Gupta,telling Justice Sambuddha Chakraborty of the High Court that with the HBT informing the port authorities on October 31 that it would not continue operation at Haldia Dock Complex,its application for a direction to HBT to resume work has become infructuous.
As such,the application be allowed to be withdrawn,Gupta told the court,and added that the issue has to be taken up before a different forum.
This was not opposed by HBTs counsel Samaridtya Pal. A counsel appearing for a workers union,however,asked the judge to hear their argument,which was not allowed.
Justice Chakraborty then dismissed the KoPTs writ petition as withdrawn.
A few hours later,the KoPT in a statement said that no instruction was given to senior counsel Gupta for the withdrawal of the writ petition. In the evening,Arunav Ghosh,another counsel for the KoPT,said a fresh application on behalf of the KoPT would be moved on Monday to recall the order passed by the High Court today.
According to the legal experts,there was no possibility of HBT to resume work at berths no 2 and 8 after the developments in the High Court today. Now,both the sides could approach a proper forum for compensation or damages according to the agreement singed between them.
It is to be noted that KoPT chairman Manish Jain had earlier said the HBT has to resume its works according to the agreement and if the cargo-handling firm fails to do so,its equipment and crane would not be allowed to be removed from the Haldia dock.