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SC commences final hearing in gas pricing issue

CYLINDER

Final hearing commenced in the Supreme Court today on the pleas challenging the government decision to double the price of natural gas
CYLINDERNew Delhi: Final hearing commenced in the Supreme Court today on the pleas challenging the government decision to double the price of natural gas and seeking cancellation of Reliance Industries Ltd’s contract for exploration of oil and gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin.

RIL refuted the allegation of extraneous consideration for the increase in the gas price from 4.2 dollar to 8.4 dollar per mmbtu for the gas taken from the existing fields like KG D-6 basin.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the RIL, before a bench headed by Justice B S Chauhan, said the gas output from KG basin has fallen to 8 mscmd against expected 80 mscmd due to “technical reason”.

M Veerappa Moily, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, who is named as one of the respondents in the petitions will be represented by Solicitor General G E Vahanvati.

The bench, also comprising justices J Chelameswar and Kurian Joseph, is hearing the PILs filed by senior CPI MP Gurudas Dasgupta and the NGO, Common Cause, which has sought imposition of penalty on private parties for failure in adhering to commitments.

The petitioners have also sought a direction for a thorough audit by CAG of the working of the production sharing contract (PSC) governing KG block, gold plating by RIL, underproduction by RIL and all related issues.

During the hearing, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the MP, alleged collusion between the government and the company, saying RIL “is holding country’s energy security to ransom”.

He said natural resources belong to the citizens and the government.

PTI

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