A division bench of Calcutta High Court today allowed ABG-LDA-run Haldia Bulk Terminals (HBT) to remove its equipment from the Haldia dock complex.

The Court, however, has restrained HBT from re-deploying the equipment outside India.

Early this month, the Kolkata Port Trust approached the Court seeking an order against removal of equipment (from Haldia) by HBT. The appeal was turned down by a single bench of Justice Sanjib Banerjee on December 12. The Port Trust challenged the order in the division bench.

According to Port Trust’s advocate Ashok Kumar Jena, the division bench of Justice Asim Banerjee and Shukla Kabir (Sinha) on Wednesday directed that the assets of HBT could not be alienated and could be used upon intimation to the Court-appointed special officers.

“The appeals against order dated December 12 were disposed of and the Division Bench directed inventory of all equipment by joint special officers, who would also remain in symbolic possession. Assets are not to be removed outside India; assets are not to be alienated or dealt with. They (HBT) can use the assets upon intimation to special officers,” Jena said.

He added that the “trial court processing” would continue.

A senior Port Trust official in Haldia said, “The Court has said in its interim order on Wednesday that HBT can use its equipment only after intimating the port authorities and the Court appointed officers.”

HBT decided to withdraw its operations from Haldia port and leave a 10-year contract with the Kolkata Port Trust mid-way citing law and order problems.

ayan.pramanik@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 19, 2012)
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