Mumbai/Kolkata, April 21 (IANS) Tata Trusts on Friday said it “has no connection” at all with a recent public interest litigation (PIL) on public sector entities’ equity holding in the tobacco sector.
“Tata Trusts clarifies that it has no connection whatsoever with a recent PIL on government entities’ equity holding in the tobacco sector,” it said in a statement.
According to it, the petitioners have filed the plea, as private citizens. The main petitioner is Sumitra Pednekar, wife of the late Satish Pednekar, former Minister of Maharashtra.
The PIL filed in the Bombay High Court asked the central government’s policy of allowing public sector insurance companies to invest in the tobacco industry, contradicting the “anti-tobacco” stance taken by the Union government.
“The other petitioners are Ashish Deshmukh, BJP MLA from Katol (Maharashtra), Abhay Bang, a public health expert, Pankaj Chaturvedi, leading cancer surgeon, Prakash Gupta, public health expert, and R. Venkataramanan and Lakshman Sethuraman, two Tata Trusts employees, all of whom have joined the petition in their individual capacities,” the statement said.
The statement came after some media reports suggested that the petition was an initiative of the Trusts trying to draw links with Indian Hotels Company Limited and ITC Limited.
“Tata Trusts denounces such suggestions,” it said, adding that it was baseless to describe the petition as initiated by the Trusts just because Venkataramanan and Sethuraman work for the organisation.