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Apex court favours Super Bazar revival plan

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has approved a joint proposal submitted by fertiliser major Indian Potash Ltd (IPL) and Indian Labour Cooperative Society (ILCS) to revive shopping cooperative Super Bazar and asked the government to facilitate the process.

A bench headed by Justice B.P. Singh approved the revival plan of IPL-ILCS combine, which had earlier offered to match Reliance Industries (RIL) bid of Rs 228 crore.

RIL, which had initially clinched the deal, subsequently opted out of the race to revive the Capital's defunct shopping cooperative, citing Government's reluctance in giving it full management control.

The Government had invited bids in May 2006 after the Supreme Court asked the Centre to examine ways to revive the cooperative super market.

During proceedings last month, the apex court had directed the IPL-ILCS combine to deposit the money in the court for employees' liabilities so as to secure them.

The IPL-ILCS combine had then submitted that it was willing to invest the money if the Government permitted it to do so.

No amendment

Besides, they said that there was no need to amend the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002, which is what RIL had wanted, and that revival was possible within the existing legal framework.

The Central Registrar can register the amendments of the bye-laws and also allow induction of new institutional members, the modalities worked out between the Government and the IPL-ILCS combine stated.

As per the revised bid, after induction of fresh equity and registration of amended bye-laws, the Government equity would be returned before the new board took over management from the administrators, whose term cannot exceed for more than one year as per the Act.

The court's intervention came on a petition filed by the employee union against a June 2002 decision by the regulator for cooperatives to wind up Super Bazar.

The Super Bazar had around 40,000 shareholders, 156 branches, 15 mobile vans and other units functional in and around Delhi at the time of closure.

The Government has around 73 per cent holding in Super Bazar. -- PTI

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