UK - Legal action by the Railtrack Shareholders' Action Group moved a step closer when the government failed to meet a deadline for the release of key documents.
Lawyers acting for RSAG have written to the Treasury solicitor acting for the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions demanding clarification of the position.
The RSAG - which comprises institutional investors who hold more than 42% of the shares in the defunct rail company, including many occupational schemes - is demanding that the DTLR issues a clear statement by tomorrow.
And it warns that “appropriate action will be taken” if the DTLR denies RSAG’s entitlement to the documents relating to the decision to put Railtrack into administration.
RSAG chairman Simon Haslam said: “We are very disappointed that the DTLR could not respond in a clear manner to our request for documents.
“If they are requesting more time to collate bundles of documents they will supply to our lawyers, that is one thing. But it has taken them over a month to reply to our request and we still have no idea of the government’s position on whether they are prepared to disclose crucial information to our legal advisers.”
Haslam added that the pressure group had given the government sufficient time to state its position unequivocally.
The RSAG originally requested the release of the documents on December 3 and asked for a response by December 31. The DTLR responded by saying that it “would be in a position to reply substantively during the first part of January”.
An RSAG spokesman said: “The DTLR and Stephen Byers [the transport minister] have always said that they were whiter than white and everything that they have done was perfectly above board and legal. The fact that they seemed loath to give us the documents begs lots of questions.”
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