1. Petitioner No 1 which is a limited company owned a textile undertaking called Minerva Mills situated in the State of Karnataka. This undertaking was nationalised and taken over by the Central Government under the provisions of the Sick Textile Undertakings (Nationalisation) Act, 1974, Petitioners 2 to 6 are shareholders of Petitioner No. 1, some of whom are also unsecured creditors and some secured creditors.7
2. Respondent 1 is the Union of India. Respondent 2 is the National Textile Corporation Limited in which the textile undertaking of Minerva Mills comes to be vested under Section 3(2) of the Nationalisation Act of 1974. Respondent 3 is a subsidiary of the 2nd respondent.8
3. On August 20, 1970, the Central Government appointed a Committee under Section 15 of the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951 to make a full and complete investigation of the affairs of the Minerva Mills Ltd., as it was of the opinion that there had been or was likely to be substantial fall in the volume of production. The said Committee submitted its report to the Central Government in January 1971, on the basis of which the Central Government passed an order dated October 19, 1971 under Section 18A of the Act of 1951, authorising Respondent 2 to take over the management of the Minerva Mills Ltd. on the ground that its affairs were being managed in a manner highly detrimental to public interest.9
4. By these petitions, the petitioners challenge the constitutionality of Sections 4 and 55 of the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976 and it is this contention alone with which they propose to deal in these petitions.
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