RINL seeks modification of Andhra HC order on VSP asset disposal

The court directed the petitioners of the main petition to file counters and the case hearing was adjourned to next Tuesday.
Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.
Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.File Photo

VIJAYAWADA: Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL), management of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), filed a supplementary petition in the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday seeking modification of the interim stay order to continue the status quo on VSP lands and other assets.

Senior advocate WB Srinivas, appearing for RINL, submitted to the court that RINL has the right to liquidate its assets for the financial needs of the steel plant, but with the court’s interim order, such transactions have hit a roadblock. He urged the court to modify the order.

He further submitted to the court that RINL purchased lands for the steel plant from APIIC and the housing board, and the Centre also acquired lands on a large scale for it.

He said they are not touching the government-acquired lands, but only the lands acquired by the plant management, which are 24.99 acres.

Elaborating further, he said the auction of those lands had commenced, and 170 bidders participated, and of them, 72 were declared as H1 bidders. “From those H1 bidders, Rs 243 crore is due and they have cleared Rs 45 crore till date, but with the court’s interim order, they stopped the payment of the balance, which has caused RINL a huge loss,” he said.

The court directed the petitioners of the main petition to file counters and the case hearing was adjourned to next Tuesday.

Additional Solicitor General B Narasimha Shamra said the 21,000 acres procured by the Centre for the VSP belong to the Centre, and the rest of the lands belong to RINL.

He further said they are not selling VSP but only disinvesting the Central share. He further argued that the Centre is not related in any manner to the assets of RINL and they can sell their assets.

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