Four employees unions at the Mumbai refinery of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) have jointly filed a writ petition in the Mumbai High Court seeking a court order to quash the “restrictive clause” in the Employee Stock Purchase Scheme (ESPS) that excludes workers litigating against the planned privatisation of the state-run company from its ambit.

The condition is illegal, arbitrary, discriminatory and ultra vires the Constitution, according to the Unions.

The Unions said their members are sought to be “penalised and punished for seeking to challenge the strategic disinvestment of BPCL”.


“The case is directly linked to the strategic disinvestment of BPCL, which is the subject matter of challenge in two writ petitions (filed earlier by the Unions). It is a fit case where the Court is required to set aside the said condition in the ESPS and also undertake strict judicial scrutiny of the entire decision-making process relating to

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Govt looking to sell nearly 53% stake in PSU to strategic buyer in privatisation bid

The government has extended the deadline for the submission of expression of interest (EoI) for the privatisation of state-run oil refiner Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) to November 16.

Also read: BPCL employees filing litigations against sale will be denied shares under ESPS

“In view of the further requests received from the interested bidders and the prevailing situation arising out of Covid-19, the last date and time for submission of EoIs is extended up to 16 November,” said a corrigendum issued by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) on Wednesday.


The earlier deadline was Wednesday, September 30.


The government has sought initial bids to privatise BPCL, India’s third biggest oil refiner and second largest fuel retailer, by selling its 52.98 per cent stake to a strategic buyer.

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By Nidhi Verma, Aftab Ahmed and Vladimir Soldatkin

NEW DELHI/MOSCOW, Sept 29 (Reuters)Rosneft and Saudi Aramco are unlikely to bid in the privatisation of Indian refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp BPCL.NS, sources familiar with the matter said, as low oil prices and weak demand curb their investment plans.

Russia’s Rosneft ROSN.MM had expressed an interest in buying the federal government’s 53.29% stake in Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) when its chief executive Igor Sechin visited New Delhi in February, while India’s trade minister has said that Saudi oil giant Aramco 2222.SE was enthusiastic about the stake sale.

A Rosneft source, however, said it will not buy BPCL, while another said the Russian oil major would only be interested in BPCL’s marketing business, which is comprised of fuel depots and more than 16,800 fuel stations.

“For this, India has to sell BPCL in parts,” the source said.

India’s government, which

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A cash-strapped Centre seems desperate to quickly push through two key stake sales — that of BPCL and Air India. Understandably so. There is a huge shortfall in tax revenue and the fiscal deficit is likely to shoot up this year due to the Covid crisis. Disinvestment proceeds budgeted at an aggressive ₹2.1 lakh crore for FY 2021 can possibly help fill part of the big breach. The planned stake sales of BPCL and Air India are expected to play a key role here.

But it seems a bad idea to press ahead with these divestments at this juncture. That’s primarily because the values realised for the family silver now will likely be sub-optimal. Both the airline and oil & gas sectors have been badly hit by the pandemic crisis with players struggling to survive and stock prices crashing.

Given the widespread stress, many potential buyers may not be in

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