The Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned the Central government's rationale in selling its residual stake of 29% in Hindustan Zinc, and restrained it from going ahead with the stake sale.

Stakes in Hindustan Zinc (HZL) and Bharat Aluminium Company (Balco), both public sector enterprises, were sold during the earlier NDA regime and the buyer was Vedanta Group. The sale left the Central government with residual stake of 29.54% in HZL and 49% in Balco, reported PTI.

The government wants to offload its stake using the open auction route, in which prospective buyers are asked to bid and the highest bidder acquires the shares.

The shares of HZL were trading at Rs 138.80 at around 2:10 pm on the BSE on Tuesday, up 0.07% after having touched a high of Rs 141.70 during intraday trading.

The company has postponed its third-quarter result announcement to 21 January. It had initially decided to announce the results on 19 January.

Vedanta shares were trading at Rs 69.70, up 1.23%. The Sensex was at 24,506.66, showing a gain of 314 points, or 1.30%.

The Narendra Modi government had estimated it would collect Rs 69,500 crore by way of disinvestment during the current fiscal. However, it has managed to garner only Rs 12,700 crore till now, divesting its stakes in Rural Electrification, Power Finance Corporation, Dredging Corporation of India and Indian Oil Corporation.

During 2014-15, the government's disinvestment proceeds were Rs 24,439 crore.