Govt withdraws affidavit in RIL-RNRL case

Govt withdraws affidavit in RIL-RNRL case

Mumbai: In an unusual development, the government today withdrew its affidavit in the Bombay High Court, wherein it had asserted Reliance Industries cannot sell its Krishna-Godavari basin gas to anyone without its approval to the pricing formula.

Appearing for the government, Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran said that the affidavit, filed during the hearings on the dispute between Mukesh Ambani-led RIL and younger brother Anil’s group company RNRL, was being withdrawn.

The withdrawal came following insistence by RNRL counsel Ram Jethmalani to cross-examine the government on the issue.

Hearing the case, Justice J N Patel suggested that the government could withdraw its affidavit and simply assist the court through written submission, and the same was accepted immediately by Parasaran.

In its affidavit filed last month, the government had also said that RIL could not sell KG basin gas at a price less than $4.20 per million British Thermal Units.

“Sale of gas at a price less than $4.20 per mmBtu is not envisaged as per the Empowered Group of Ministers’ decision taken in accordance with Production Sharing Contract (between the government and RIL)," Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas Under Secretary S M Sundaram had said in the affidavit.

Last week, the court summoned the official in the Petroleum Ministry for the purpose of cross-examination in the ongoing case over gas supply.

Asked about the government’s stand after withdrawal of the affidavit, Parasaran told PTI, “You will come to know our stand on 12 January ... This is not a step backward."