On Thursday, a two judge appeal bench at Calcutta High Court stayed a previous single-judge bench verdict shooting down the Kolkata Port Trust’s petition for restraining cargo handler ABG Haldia Bulk Terminals Pvt Ltd on March 22, which prevented it from removing equipment worth Rs. 140 crore from the Haldia port complex.
Justices Ashim Kumar Banerjee and Dipak Saha Ray passed the interim stay on the appeal filed by KoPT, through advocate Paritosh Sinha, for hearing on April 1.
Moving the appeal, KoPT council SN Mukherjee told the court that the trial judge had rejected its plea without considering that KoPT had the right to hold ABG’s equipment till the completion of work under its 10-year contract.
KoPT also sought a compensation of Rs. 233 crore from ABG for the losses incurred by the firm’s pull out from Haldia Dock Complex.
“ABG itself created a situation to enable it to leave the work before its contract period expired by putting the blame on KoPT and others,” Sinha said.
On March 22, Justice Sanjib Banerjee had allowed ABG to remove all its equipment from Haldia port, subject to the payment of any customs charges that may have been due.
The judge also directed KoPT to pay Rs. 4 lakh as litigation cost, of which Rs. 2 lakh would be paid of ABG and the remainder deposited with the state legal services authority. Challenging this, KoPT appeal to a two-judge bench.