Court dismisses bus operator lawsuit against ministry
AMMAN — The Higher Court of Justice on Tuesday rejected a lawsuit filed by Citigroup, a Kuwaiti company, to overturn a decision by a former minister of industry and trade to dissolve the board of Al Mutakamilah Transportation (AutoBus) Company.
Hani Mulki, who was industry and trade minister at the time, also formed an ad hoc committee to run the company’s affairs, in implementation of Article 168 of the Companies Law.
On July 18, Mulki decided to dissolve Al Mutakamilah’s board upon the recommendations from the companies comptroller due to financial irregularities at the company, a public shareholding firm, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
The bus operator had decided to terminate its operations in the capital over a dispute with the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM), which threatened a crisis.
The ministry stepped in as a disruption was reported in public transportation in the capital when the company halted its services. Hundreds of drivers and workers in supporting services employed by the operators were on the brink of losing their jobs without the government’s intervention.
Under Article 168 of the Companies Law, minister of industry and trade has the right to dissolve the board of a public shareholding company and form a committee to run it for six months if it suffered from “bad” administrative and financial conditions and upon the recommendations of the ministry’s general companies controller.
Former Amman mayor Omar Maani is currently being investigated for charges of “failure to perform his official duties” linked to a previous decision he took to invest in Al Mutakamilah, in which GAM acquired 20 per cent of the company’s shares worth JD8 million.
When GAM entered the partnership with the operator, critics slammed the decision as illegal since the municipality was the regulator and cannot play both roles.