Kolkata: Calcutta High Court on Monday refused CBI probe demanded by state Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury into the alleged Metro Dairy scam in the state.
The division bench of the Calcutta High Court refusing CBI probe said that there was no ‘misappropriation of funds’ in Metro Dairy Share Disinvestment.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj while orally dictating the order in open court opined that the policy decision of the West Bengal government to sell its 47 per cent stake in Metro Dairy Keventer Agro in an auction which was purchased in the auction by Keventer Agro for Rs. 85 crores was neither illegal nor arbitrary.
Metro Dairy was established in 1991 as a public-private venture. After the exit of NDDB, the state-run West Bengal Milk Producers Federation had 47 percent stake, and the remaining 53 percent was owned by Keventer Agro Ltd
In 2017, the West Bengal government had approved the sale of its 47 percent stake to Keventer Agro in a public auction for Rs 85 crore. Chowdhury had alleged in his petition that the government, which set up the company with public money, had suffered a loss of at least Rs 500 crore by selling its stake in Metro Dairy to Keventer Agro at a low price. Accordingly, he had contended that a probe must be initiated into the alleged scam.
Commenting on this development, Debanjan Mandal, Partner, Fox & Mandal, representing Keventer Agro said, “This vindicates the stand of Keventer Agro Ltd., that the policy decision called for no interference, the valuation of shares of Metro Dairy was proper, the process followed by the Government was completely transparent and fair and the price offered by Keventer Agro for purchase of the shares was also adequate.”