NAVEEN’S AFFAIR WITH JINDAL STRIPS: GOVT. STRIPPED LAYER BY LAYER BY ORISSA HIGH COURT

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Government cannot act in a manner, which would benefit a private party at the cost of the State. This mandate was issued long back in 1980 by the Supreme Court of India, in M/s Kasturi Lal v.State of J&K, reported in AIR 1980 SC 1992. The State Government, under Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, has been stripped layer by layer by the Orissa High Court for having tried to contravene this very mandate in order only to serve the interest of a private industrial house.

The Government had done everything to help Jindal Strips Ltd, a private concern, plunder away 500.26 hectares of Orissa’s Chromite deposit at Tangarpada in the district of Dhenkanal, through the backdoor. State owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDCOL) was used as a pawn by people in power in this respect, which the High Court has frustrated.

A cursory look into the matter reveals that people holding high office had taken such steps that M/s Jindal Strips Ltd (hereinafter called Jindal) could have bagged 89 per cent equity in Tangarpada Chrome Mines under occupancy of IDCOL as its partner in a Joint Venture Project besides a spectacular gain of 2500 Acres of land in a highly industrial belt as well as cash to the recurring tune of 20 thousand crores through exemption of taxes. Naveen Patnaik’s Government had unhesitatingly approved this anti-people plan.
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