HC ruling on gas output deal not right: Centre

HC ruling on gas output deal not right: Centre

Appearing before a bench of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasan said ‘’government is an aggrieved party. Without any prejudice our right should be protected.’’

At the beginning RNRL Advocate Ram Jethmalani raised his objection by saying that government was an intervener in the Bombay High Court. “If they assist the court as an intervener, we have no objection. If they produce new documents, we must have a right to cross examine.” ‘’I am allowing him to continue. I have a right and I can not give it up,’’ he said pointing to law that an intervener can not be a party to petition before the Supreme Court.

KG-6 is one of the largest gas reservoirs in the world. India is starving of power and it needs natural gas to operate power projects in the country, said Parasaran. All natural resources under the water in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) are exclusive property of the Union of India, government said. RIL is a contractor and he is to supply gas up to the delivery point. ‘’Government will decide who will get gas,’’ he said.

Parasaran said both RIL and RNRL had filed application before the government for a production sharing contract. The PSC is not only for the supply of gas from KG-6, but for natural gas from other reservoirs in the country. Government said the agreement between the Ambani brothers is not binding on the government. Even the agreement to supply 28 unit of gas for 17 years to the Dadri project is against the gas utilization policy (GUP). ‘’It need to be suitable for both parties subject to the government policy,’’ Parasaran said.

He clarified that the government is not on the question of existence of the agreement. ‘’We are not on the question of the existence of agreement. They could not have gone for such a contract. It is not binding on the government,’’ he said. The argument remained inconclusive and would continue tomorrow. However, RIL concluded its arguments.

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