Court questions government intervention in Ambanis’ case


Mumbai : The Bombay High Court Thursday asked the government why it wanted to intervene in Reliance Natural Resources Ltd’s (RNRL) case against Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) over a gas supply agreement.

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Justice J.N. Patel asked lawyer T.S. Doabia why the government was a necessary party, and how RIL’s appeal in the case prejudiced its rights.

Earlier during the day, RNRL counsel said the Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (R-ADAG) was part of RIL when it won the National Thermal Power Corp (NTPC) bid.

He said in the absence of fructification of NTPC contract, RNRL was entitled to 40 million standard cubic metres of gas per day but RNRL would supply 12 million standard cubic metres to NTPC at $2.34 per million British thermal unit (mBtu) on the terms of the bid.

The Krishna Godavari G-D6 dispute revolves around a pact between RNRL and RIL on which firm has the rights over the gas supplies and at what price.

The earlier interim order, in which the court restrained RIL from selling the gas or from entering into any contract with a third party, has lapsed. RIL was subsequently planning to start production from the basin.

The court had also restrained RIL from entering into contracts to sell the gas from this basin with companies other than RNRL and the state-run NTPC.

It had also asked the two sides to settle the dispute within four months, but they failed to reach an agreement within the stipulated time.

RNRL has claimed at least half of the 80 million standard cubic metres of gas per day that is envisaged from the fields off the Andhra Pradesh coast – said to be the country’s biggest source of hydrocarbons today.