Anil Ambani firm asks court to dismiss government stand on gas dispute

The petroleum ministry previously withdrew all its affidavits when the matter was being heard in the Bombay High Court and hence it has no right to do so in the apex court, said Anil Ambani's Reliance Natural Resources in a fresh affidavit.
In reply to the law suit filed by Reliance Industries challenging the Bombay High Court order, the Anil Ambani-led firm had already said the government has no role to play in the private gas sharing dispute, and certainly not as a party to the row.
"The petroleum ministry avoided cross-examination of its deponents. Therefore, the filing of the affidavit in Supreme Court is a gross abuse of process," said a senior official in the company, explaining the contents of the company's latest affidavit.
"Several of the statements made in the government's affidavit before the Supreme Court have been made for the first time and this is not permitted. Also an intervener has no right to file pleadings in the court," the official added.
"The petroleum ministry has also filed the affidavit blatantly and openly in support of Reliance Industries. This affidavit should therefore be struck off the records of the Supreme Court."
The hearing on the case is slated for Monday.
Reliance Industries had moved the apex court challenging the Bombay High Court order, which asked it to supply gas to Reliance Natural Resources at $2.34 per unit.
In its appeal, the company said the high court had erred in deciding the three terms of the contract -- quantity, tenure and price -- when asked to supply natural gas from the Krishna Godavari basin near the Andhra Pradesh coast, to Reliance Natural Resources.
The company also named the government as an intervener in its lawsuit.
Anil Ambani's company has also contended that Reliance Industries was trying to depict the dispute as one between their firm and the government rather than one between the two companies, adding the government actually has little role to play in it.
"Since the government does not receive any part of the proceeds of the sale of gas by Reliance Industries from its share of gas, there is no revenue implication to the government in the present dispute," the company said in its reply.
"The sale of gas is from Reliance Industries' share over which it has complete marketing freedom."

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