Commercial Tax Officer & Ors Vs. Corromandal Pharmaceuticals & Ors
 INSC 285 (12
B.P. JEEVAN REDDY
O R D
E R B.P. JEEVAN REDDY, J.
agree respectfully with the opinion prepared by my learned brother K.S. Paripooran,
at the provisions of the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act,
1985 [ the Act], I was wondering how out of tune the Act has become with the
economic policies being pursued now in this country. Since 1991-92, we are
launched upon, what is being called, liberalisation of our economy. We have
given up the policy of protecting our industries against foreign competition on
the ground that it has given rise to an inefficient and outdated industrial
system in our country. Our industries are suddenly being asked to compete with
foreign companies, many of whom being giant multi-nationals have vast resources
at their disposal. They are merrily gobbling up our poor native companies. Many
local industries, unable to stand the said competition are joining the foreign
giants in one form of venture or other. Several hundreds of small-scale and
medium scale units in telecom sector, for example, have suffered enormously
because of our love for foreign companies and their capital. The state of several
public sector companies is no better. I am not saying that we have totally
embraced, what may be called "Reaganism" or "Thatcherism".
The fact, however, remains that it is no longer thought advisable to keep alive
inefficient and uneconomic industries by injecting public funds or in the name
of safeguarding the employment of the workers. And here is this Act, a product
of the era of protectionism seeking to keep alive "sick" companies by
pumping in funds - mostly public funds - and by providing various concessions.
In the process, nobody enquires why a particular industrial company has become
sick, viz., whether it is an induced one or whether it is on account of factors
beyond their control.
object of the Act is undoubtedly laudatory but it must also provide for
appropriate measures against person responsible where it is found that sickness
is caused by factors other than circumstances beyond the control of the
management. It is also a well-known fact that the proceedings before the Board
of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction take a long time to conclude and all
the while the protective umbrella of Section 22 is held over the company which
has reported sick. We have come across cases where unfair advantage is sought
to be taken of the provisions of Section 22 by certain industrial companies -
and the wide language employed in the section is providing them a cover. We are
sure section 22 was not meant to breed dishonesty nor can it be so operated as
to encourage unfair practices. The ultimate prejudice to public monies should
not be overlooked in the process of promoting industrial progress. We are quite
sure that the Government is fully alive to the situation and are equally
certain that they must be thinking of necessary modifications in the Act.
few observations are meant merely to record the need for changes in the Act.