Home India News Anil Ambani group wants government plea on gas dispute dismissed

Anil Ambani group wants government plea on gas dispute dismissed


New Delhi : The Anil Ambani group Friday asked the Supreme Court to dismiss a government petition that questions the validity of its contract with Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries for natural gas supplies from the Krishna-Godavari basin.

The petition, filed by group company Reliance Natural Resources, says the government’s argument that Reliance Industries cannot sell gas to any party without a prior state approval is not maintainable.

“The production-sharing contract gives marketing freedom to the contractor. This is established from the plain reading of the production-sharing contract and the answers given by the government in parliament,” said the petition.

The company further said its contract with Reliance Industries was part of a corporate restructuring plan — the one between the two Ambani brothers, Anil and Mukesh — over which the government had no role to play.

“In this reorganization of the business of Reliance Industries, the government has no locus to intervene,” the petition said, staking claim to 28 million units of gas a day at $2.34 per unit for 17 years, based on its contract.

“The gas supply arrangement provided by the memorandum of understanding is like any other commercial gas supply arrangement made by a contractor for sale of gas that would come to its share as per the provisions of production-sharing contract.”

Reliance Natural Resources said the government had prior knowledge of its gas supply understanding with Reliance Industries and that it was incorrect to maintain that the same came to light only from the Bombay High Court order.

On June 15, the Bombay High Court had decided in favour of Reliance Natural Resources and issued a directive to Reliance Industries to supply 28 million units of gas per day to the Anil Ambani group company at $2.34 per unit.

But Reliance Industries challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court. The apex court fixed next date of hearing of the case for Oct 20, allowing all interested parties to file their file their replies and rejoinders by then.

The Anil Ambani group has already asked the Supreme Court to make the state-run power utility NTPC a party to its dispute with Reliance Industries, since their positions were similar for gas supplies from the Krishna-Godavari basin.