The Madras High Court has restrained the Puducherry government from opening the bids for selling 100% shares in the electricity distribution company until further orders.
The court made it clear that the government could receive the bids till November 25, as planned, but it should not open them.
Justice R. Suresh Kumar passed the interim orders on a writ petition filed by the Electricity Department Technical Certificate Holders (ITI) Welfare Union of Puducherry, challenging the tender notification issued on September 27.
The judge called for a counter-affidavit and adjourned the hearing to November 30.
Though the union had challenged the tender notification on many grounds, its main concern was that the service conditions of the members of the union would get affected if the tender was finalised and the shares were sold to a third party.
Representing the petitioner union, advocate N.G.R. Prasad argued that the employees should not be made to suffer from the government’s eagerness to privatise electricity distribution. He feared that the government might open the bids anytime after November 25 and finalise the bidder.
Finding force in his submissions, the judge said the bids should not be opened until the court granted a specific permission and directed Additional Government Pleader J. Kumaran to make sure that a counter-affidavit was filed by the end of this month.