Government's Stand to Be Considered In RIL and RNRL Dispute

Government's Stand to Be Considered In RIL and RNRL DisputeIn a new development, in the Reliance Industries (RIL) versus Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL) case on sharing the natural gas from the KG basin fields, the division bench of the Bombay High Court has allowed the intervention of the government in the case.

The government shall be part in deciding the price, quantity and tenure of the power project. Counsel for the government Mr. T.S.Doabia stated that the government was only interested in the price at which the gas is sold and its approval. The government is not concerned with the MoU between the two opponents.

Previously RNRL was opposed to the intervention of the government as it proposed that the government had no role to play in the dispute between the two brothers.

Meanwhile, RIL readily allowed the intervention of the government. The reason for allowing the government to intervene now is given by the Counsel for RNRL Mr. Mukul Rohatgi as "if the matter is not heard at the High Court stage and if the matter reaches the Supreme Court, the highest court could take a view that the government should have been heard at the High Court Level. In that case the court might refer the matter back to the High Court. Therefore to save time, the company (RNRL) has agreed to the government being a party to the case".

While the government is the major stakeholder under the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for RIL's KG basin gas, a . private dispute between RIL and RNRL does not threaten the interests of the government. While initially the hearing could have been wrapped up before Diwali, so that the judges could prepare the judgment during the vacation, now with the acceptance of the 'Chamber Summons 'of the government through the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, the hearing shall take much longer.

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