NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Friday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to pay a cost of Rs 30 lakh within four weeks to the Uttarakhand administration which is fighting a legal battle with the former over shareholding in the Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC).
Uttarakhand in 2012 had filed a lawsuit in the top court against Uttar Pradesh seeking a declaration that 25 per cent shareholding in the THDC, which was earlier granted to UP, now be given to it following the bifurcation of UP in 2000.
The hill state has further sought a declaration that it is the rightful owner of the said shareholding and hence, a decree of the injunction (stay) on the allocation of THDC shares be granted in its favour.
The top court, on December 16, 2013, decided to proceed with the hearing ex-parte on the lawsuit of Uttarakhand as the UP government's counsel or representative could not appear.
However, later UP government swung into action and moved the plea in the top court seeking recall of the earlier order, which was vehemently opposed by Uttarakhand administration.
The hill state claimed that it has "incurred a total expenditure of Rs 57,48,791. As legal costs towards payment of counsel's fee towards 11 hearings."
A bench of Justices R F Nariman and S Ravindra Bhat, said: "This court is of the opinion that though the state of UP was tardy and could not ensure timely appearance, yet, when the concerned officials were made aware of the pendency of the present suit and order dated December 16, 2013, prompt steps were taken."
The court recalled its order and said, "having regard to the entirety of circumstances, the Interlocutory Application is allowed subject to the State of UP paying costs quantified at Rs 30,00,000 to the plaintiff/State of Uttarakhand, within four weeks from today".