A PIL has been filed in the Madras High Court,seeking a direction to authorities to examine,investigate or consider investment by a subsidiary of multi brand retail company Wal Mart in two Indian firms in March-April 2010.
The PIL submitted the Union government had allowed FDI in multi brand retail on September 14,2012,before which it had been prohibited under Foreign Exchange Management Act,1999 (FEMA) and Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of Security by a person resident outside India) Regulations 2000.
It said that in March and April this year,Wal Mart Stores Inc,USA through its subsidiary,in collusion with two Indian firms,illegally invested Rs 455.80 crore in multibrand retail in India by masquerading it as for ‘Services Sector.’ Petitioner T Vellayan,President,Federation of Tamil Nadu Traders’ Association contended Wal-Mart also holds a 49 per cent interest in the Indian company,operating multi brand retails stores in various formats in the country.
He contended that any change in FDI policy and its subsequent introduction by change in regulations can only be prospective and not retrospective. So the present policy change to allow FDI in multi brand retail can never legitimise the ‘illegal’ FDI already made by Wal mart,he said.
Vellayan said the PIL was not to question government’s recent policy decision,permitting 51 per cent FDI in multi brand retail through the same is yet to be notified. “The petitioner however reserves the liberty to file a petition challenging the policy lifting the prohibition at the appropriate juncture before the appropriate forum,” it said.
A Division Bench,comprising Justices R Banumathi and R Subbiah,adjourned the matter to October 31.