supreme court: Supreme Court allows govt stake sale in Hindustan Zinc; Orders CBI probe

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday allowed the Centre to divest the remaining shareholding of 29.5% in Hindustan Zinc (HZL) “The present government can disinvest its remaining 29.5% shareholding in HZL as it is no longer in control of the erstwhile PSU,” the Supreme Court said. The apex court also ordered a full-fledged CBI probe into the 2002 disinvestment of Hindustan Zinc (HZL) allegedly at a very low price. After the divestment, a Vedanta group company Sterlite took management control of the company. It said that the disinvestment can be done scrupulously following the rules, regulations, and procedures relating to the disinvestment of government shares. The SC order would raise questions about the deal with Sterlite, an investigation into which was stalled when Arun Shourie was the disinvestment minister during the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee government Taking objection to the closure of preliminary inquiry by the CBI, the Supreme Court asked the CBI to forthwith register a regular case and fully investigate the 2002 decision to disinvest its majority shareholding in HZL. The Supreme Court has asked the central probing agency to file a regular status reports before it.

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