Govt files affidavit in gas row

Says SLP is justified as its rights have been affected

In an affidavit filed here one day before the hearing of the case, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry said the special leave petition challenging the Bombay High Court ruling was justified even as it was not a party to the litigation at the lower court.

“The order of the Bombay High Court is clearly detrimental to the government’s ability to regulate natural gas supply and distribution as it privileges a private arrangement over the government’s utilisation policy,” the affidavit said.

The affidavit said that government’s legal rights were affected by the High Court judgement of June 15, wherein the court had asked Reliance Industries to honour the commitment made in a 2005 family settlement for supply of gas to Reliance Natural at a committed price of $2.34 per mmBtu, which is 44 per cent lower than the price fixed by the government.

The family agreement required RIL controlled by Mukesh Ambani, to supply 28 million cubic meters of gas a day at $2.34 per million British thermal units for 17 years to RNRL.

Its ownership over the gas had been affected due to the high court decision which directed Reliance Industries Ltd to supply gas to Reliance Natural Resources Limited in accordance with the agreement, the affidavit filed by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas Under Secretary S M Sundaram said.

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