Orissa government’s chief secretary, steel and mines secretary and the secretary to the chief minister showed up in the Supreme Court on Monday in pursuant to a contempt notice issued to them for not complying with the court’s order and to act as per their memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd in 2002.
A Bench led by the Chief Justice directed all of them to file their replies to the show-cause notice of contempt issued to them recently on a petition filed by the company. The court gave the trio three weeks’ time to file their affidavits and also allowed an exemption from their personal appearance till further orders.
In March, the apex court had allowed the company’s appeal against an Orissa High Court order. The Bench had directed the Orissa government to act according to the between the two, signed on May 15, 2002. Overruling the HC order, the Bench had also asked the state government to make recommendations to the Centre for granting iron ore mines, as per the MoU.
The Bhushan group had sought allocation of iron ore mines to it to set up an integrated steel plant in the state.
However, after the signing of the MoU, there were disputes among the family members of the industrial family. The state government then stated that the MoU had become naught and asked the company to sign a new one.
Later, when the family claimed that the disputes had been settled, the state government still insisted on a new memorandum of understanding.