Petroleum ministry hand in glove with RIL, charges RNRL

Written by fe Bureaus | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 29 2009, 06:09am hrs
On the fifth day of arguments in the gas-supply dispute between Ambani brothers in the Supreme Court, Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL) on Wednesday claimed that it can prove that the ministry of petroleum & natural gas is hand in glove with Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) in fixing a higher price for natural gas. The oil ministry is in collusion with RILI can prove it if given a chance, claimed RNRLs counsel Ram Jethmalani.

Jethmalanis contention came when the three-judge bench headed by chief justice KG Balakrishnan asked RILs counsel as to why the government is required to approve the prices that have already been agreed between RIL and RNRL under a private pact when the government is not a party to the pact. The bench also said If you (RIL) say that government has not approved the price and therefore you can not supply (gas), then the main dispute is between RNRL and government. Why did you file the SLP (special leave petition), leave it to the government.

RILs counsel Harish Salve said they filed SLP because RIL would suffer huge losses if it abides by Bombay HC decision which would not be a suitable arrangement for them. The Bombay High Court in June this year had held that the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the brothers is binding on parties and asked RIL to supply gas to RNRL at $2.34 per mmBtu.