Court verdict soon on sale of Reliance Industries gas

January 16th, 2009 - 8:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Jan 16 (IANS) The Bombay High Court is expected to decide next week whether Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries can assume sale of natural gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin, off the Andhra Pradesh coast.The court had imposed a stay on the sale of natural gas from the fields after two cases were filed against Reliance Industries over the sale price and qualtity of fuel - one by the Anil Ambani Group and the other by state-run power utility National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

A division bench of the court comprising Justices J.N. Patel and K.K. Tated said they will decide on the stay next week, while the larger judgment on the cases is expected by March 16.

In a counter-affidavit, Anil Ambani-led Reliance Natural Resources had pleaded before the court that the government had no right to fix the sale price of gas due to it from the fields allotted to Reliance Industries.

The bench Friday asked the government to furnish the decision of the empowered group of ministers on the basis of which the gas was to be allotted to the Dadri Power Project of the Anil Ambani group in Uttar Pradesh.

Earlier, Mohan Parasaran, the additional solicitor general of India, had said the gas should be available to all private and public sector firms at not less than $4.20 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu).

This was the price suggested by a high-powered ministerial group and agreed to by the government, but the Anil Ambani group said the government cannot overturn contracts that are solemnly entered into by parties with an executive decision.

NTPC is also fighting a legal battle with Reliance Industries for the supply of gas but at a lower price of $2.34 per mmBtu.

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