Senior Advocate Ravivarma Kumar, appearing on behalf of the petitioner trade unions, contended that BEML is a vital defence establishment and India’s leading defence equipment manufacturer. The company is involved in the Integrated Guided Missile Development Project, for which it supplied ground support vehicles. No reasons have been furnished by the State on the decision to privatise the PSU, he said.
On these grounds, among others, he prayed for interim relief and sought a direction to the Central government to produce a copy of its decision to privatize, since it was “shrouded in mystery.” He also asked that the expression of interest be stayed, lest third party rights be created in the meantime.
However, the Court refused to grant interim relief before giving the respondents an opportunity to file their statement of objections.