Gas pricing: High Court raps Delhi govt counsel for alleging 'fixing'

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: May 22 2014, 16:35pm hrs
Gas'I take strong umbrage. What nonsense is this?': Delhi High Court over gas pricing. Reuters
The Delhi High Court today termed as "nonsense" the claim of the city government that some sort of "fixing" has taken place in the listing of RIL's plea seeking quashing of the FIR lodged by the erstwhile AAP government against the then Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily, the firm and others for alleged irregularities in raising gas prices.

"I take strong objection to the submission that writ petitions were listed here. Matters are listed here by the Registry, not by judges. You are playing to the gallery. Please understand, election campaign is over. I will not tolerate it.

"I take strong umbrage. What nonsense is this I can summon the LG for putting this (submission) on affidavit. The majesty of the court has to be upheld. You can say Government of India is fixing matters," Justice Manmohan said.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for Delhi government, first submitted that both the petitions, filed by RIL and the Centre respectively seeking quashing of the FIRs are criminal writs and should have been listed before another bench and it seemed "some kind of fixing is allegedly going on".

Sensing the mood of the court, Singh promptly apologised.

"Sorry for giving the impression. That was not the intention," he told the bench which also said that in courts, no such things happen and matters are dealt fairly on merits.

The bench, after the hearing, asked the Centre and Reliance Industries Ltd to co-operate in the probe conducted by Delhi government's Anti Corruption Bureau in an FIR lodged against the company and others alleging collusion among them in increasing gas prices.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government had lodged an FIR naming the then Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily, Mukesh Ambani and others on gas pricing issue and had alleged that the Congress-led UPA government "favoured" RIL with an eye on 2014 general elections and BJP maintained "silence" hoping to gain corporate funding for the polls.