MUMBAI: Clearing the decks for the auction of the land and other assets of the defunct Swadeshi Mills, spread over 48 acres in suburban Sion, the Bombay High Court today upheld a single judge's order allowing its winding up.
The division bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and S C Gupte today dismissed the appeal filed by Forbes and Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Shapoorji Pallonji group. The real estate group holds 52 per cent stake in Swadeshi Mills through its two subsidiaries -- Forbes and Co and Grand View Estates.
The bench upheld the November 2011 order of a single judge of the High Court which had permitted the winding up of the mill which stopped the operations in 2000.
The single judge had passed the order on an application filed by Forbes and Co and Grand View Estates seeking stay to the September 2005 winding-up order by the High Court.
The two firms had offered to pay off the dues of creditors and employees. In return, they sought control over the assets, and discharge of the official liquidator.
The two firms said that as a part of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, they had expertise in real estate development and wanted the mill to be taken out of liquidation, not for resuming the textile production, but to carry out real estate development.
Rejecting the plea, Justice S C Dharmadhikari had observed: "...applicants do not desire to revive the business of Swadeshi Mills but desire to take over its land for exploitation in the real estate market. If the lands are sold by the Official Liquidator under the supervision of this court and at open, fair and transparent public auction, the applicants may not stand any chance and hence they desire to obtain the lands at a throwaway price by a back-door method. That is their sole intent in making this application."