The Supreme Court has halted an attempt by Adani Ports SEZ Ltd to seize control of a Central Warehousing Corporation warehouse situated on 34 acres in New Mundra Ports. The court also criticised the Gujarat High Court for "adopting dual benchmarks" to support the business group's favour.
The SC bench accepted arguments of senior advocate Maninder Singh on behalf of CWC and said, “We are of the view that the approach adopted by the division bench (of the HC) was, in fact, forcing the appellant -CWC, which is a statutory body, to accept the settlement.”
A bench of Justices B R Gavai and C T Ravikumar said, “By the January 28, 2021, order, the division bench goes on to observe that they were prima facie of the opinion that, while the first two conditions taken by the CWC in its June 12, 2019 meeting appeared to be fair and reasonable, the third condition which also takes into account the future escalation, costs etc. does not appear to be fair and may unnecessarily make the dispute linger on.”
The bench said, “The HC ought to have taken into consideration that, unless all the three conditions were complied with, the interests of CWC could not have been safeguarded. If a settlement was to be arrived at, unless the same was found to be in the interest of both the parties, it could not have been thrust upon a statutory corporation to its detriment and to the advantage of a private entity.”