Gas row is battle of brothers: SC

Justice Raveendran reveals that he owns shares of both RIL & RNRL

 
Mukesh Ambani (left) & Anil AmbaniA bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justice R V Raveendran and Justice P Sathasivam said “It’s like two countries, where there is no fight between their people. The fight is between the two persons, who are heading the country. The fight has percolated down to the people.”

However, at the end of the hearing, Justice Raveendran said: “These are our observations. Sometime we make such observations to elicit truth about the case. The media should not construe them as our views on the dispute.”

The bench said it’s like people of two countries don’t have any problems, but there is a fight between two persons who are heading these countries. “Thus, there is no fight between the two companies, but just between two individuals which has percolated down to the people.”  Justice Raveendran at the beginning of the hearing made it clear that he owned shares of both RIL of Mukesh Ambani and RNRL of Anil Ambani. “I own shares of both companies and they are of equal numbers, if anybody has any objection?”

No objections

However, the advocates of both parties expressed that they did not have any objection but RIL Advocate Harish Salve requested the CJI to note down the statement of Justice Raveendran in the order to make it clear. Starting the arguments for RIL, Salve said “Private arrangements can not be brought to shareholding companies. Private arrangements are to be kept out of share-holders schemes.”

The court said: “Neither of the kings are party, but they are shadow boxing (through their companies).” Agreeing with the observation made by the bench, Salve said: “We do say it’s a shadow boxing. Two corporates are involved... It’s my case that it’s a fight between two heads of companies.”

Salve also said that there were no fights between two companies owned by Ambani brothers, but it was a fight between two persons. The arguments by RIL counsel remained inconclusive and will resume Wednesday.

Based on a family agreement, the Anil Ambani Group wants 28 million units of gas per day for 17 years at $2.34 per unit. But Reliance Industries says it can only sell it for $4.20 per unit, claiming this was the price approved by the government, said Salve narrating the ruling of Bombay High Court which went in favour of RNRL.

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