New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued notices to the central government, Bharti Walmart Pvt Ltd and Bharti Retail Ltd on a plea alleging that the firms were illegally carrying out retail trading in multi-brand sector.
The petition by scientist and green activist Vandana Shiva alleged that the retail giants were carrying out trade in violation of the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Anil Kumar sought a response from the companies.
He accused Bharti Walmart of illegally carrying out multi-brand retail trade despite being permitted only to carry out wholesale cash and carry trade.
The petitioner accused many established Indian companies of operating as fronts for foreign trading companies to give them majority control and economic interest in the Indian retail sector, thereby circumventing the FDI rules.
Alleging that the retail giants were depriving the "solitary source of livelihood" of Indian retail traders and farmers, counsel Pinky Anand said their activities were "adversely affecting the multi-brand retailing scenario in India and causing severe problems to lakhs of people.
"Protests had prevented Walmart's entry into retail but in 2007 it did get a backdoor entry for wholesale only through a joint-venture with Bharti. Their stores go by the names of Easyday and Best Price Modern Wholesale," Anand added.
First Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 23:25