Govt may sue Anil Ambani firm for libel

Govt may sue Anil Ambani firm for libel

Centre to seek legal opinion before contesting claims made by RNRL

The ministry is contemplating seeking law ministry view on slapping the suit on RNRL over a claim that government share from KG-D6 initially will be just Rs 500 crore, while RIL will earn a super-normal profit of Rs 49,500 crore.

Sources said RNRL stuck to this claim despite the government clarifying in a written statement that its revenues over the life of the field would be more than Rs 84,000 crore, with a clear objective to “malign and tarnish its image.”The file prepared for the same notes that government’s take from KG-D6 in the first year of gas production will be Rs 700 crore at a minimum output of 40 mmscmd. At peak output of 80 mmscmd, likely next year, the government will get Rs 1,200 crore in royalty and profit share.

Sources said the file is likely to go before Petroleum Secretary R S Pandey and Petroleum Minister Murli Deora before it is sent to Law Ministry for opinion. In any case, the earnings will be more than Rs 500 crore, they said pointing out that royalty at the US$4.2 per mmBtu approved price alone came to Rs 541 crore in the first year. Meanwhile, sources said Congress MP K S Rao wrote to the Prime Minister on August 24 stating that the Anil Ambani group was using the country’s top two law officers to further its business interests.

“It is a matter of great concern if the apprehensions in the market were to be true that the highest law officers of the country... are being used to further the interest of a private corporate behind the shield of NTPC,” Rao wrote.

Anil Ambani first made the allegations of paltry government earnings at the shareholders meeting of RNRL and his group persisted with it in through an advertisement campaign. They were again repeated even after the government came out with a statement saying the total government revenues from KG-D6 field would be Rs 84,000 crore.

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