The e-auction of two paper mills in Assam, Cachar, and Nagaon, has been canceled since no private enterprise deposited the obligatory 55 crores by the deadline of June 15.
The two paper mills were managed by Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited (HPCL).
The executives and employees' organisations of the Cachar and Nagaon paper mills had contested the National Company Law Tribunal's approval of HPCL's auction of the paper mills on June 30. On June 16, the matter was scheduled for a hearing.
The liquidator's attorney, Kuldeep Varma, told the court of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak that no one acknowledged the e-auction sale notification on June 1 to deposit the Rs 55 crore as earnest money within the timeframe. The reserve price for the two mills was Rs. 1,139 crores, and the auction was scheduled to take place on the Metal Scrap Trade Corporation's website.
As a result, the court ruled that the e-auction will not take place and rejected the interim proceedings contesting the sale of the paper mills.
On June 18, Manobendra Chakraborty, head of the Joint Action Committee of Recognized Unions, informed The Hindu, "Now that the e-auctioning is not happening, the government should live up to its promise and revive its wholly-owned mills to end the trauma and torture of the employees who have not been paid their dues for 54 months."
"We have already lost 89 workers who died because of hunger and inability to get treatment for their illnesses, which violates the right to life guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution. The BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) has governments at the Centre and in Assam, and both have repeatedly assured the mills will be revived," he said.
Cachar and Nagaon paper mills have been shut down since October 2015 and March 2017, respectively.