Govt files new suit with SC

Says it has nothing to do with Ambanis gas MoU

Govt files new suit with SC

In a fresh affidavit, government said, the Bombay High Court had asked Reliance Industries to supply 28 million units of gas from the KG fields to Reliance Natural Resources for 17 years at $2.34 per unit, whereas such allocation was yet to be made by the Centre.

“It (government) is in no way concerned with the private dispute between (Mukesh-led) RIL and (Anil group firm) RNRL or between the Ambani brothers, but is only concerned with its rights as owner and regulator of natural gas,” the Centre said in the affidavit filed Tuesday.

The affidavit has sought amendment to the prayers in the petition filed on July 18, also said that the issue pertaining to sell of gas to NTPC at a price of $2.34 per mBtu is altogether a different issue.

The petition said ‘’the rights and obligations between RIL and NTPC cannot be regarded as similar in status to the private arrangement between RIL and RNRL, because of NTPC’s status as a public utility and the process involved — i.e. international competitive bidding,’’ it said, clarifying that any decision on gas pricing was without prejudice to the power PSU’s case. While requesting the Apex Court to accept its petition despite its status before the Bombay High Court was of an intervener, the Centre said “it is not the intention of the government to enter into the arena of private arrangements entered into between parties or question the validity and legality of MoU, lock, stock and barrel.”

The government had earlier sought court’s direction to declare the MoU null and void, as it would mean that all the gas from the KG basin would be owned and utilised by RIL and RNRL. The government said that RIL is a contractor and it has no exclusive right over the gas as it is a public property.

The application was filed by the Centre in accordance with the decision taken by the group of ministers.

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