New Delhi, January 16: The Supreme Court on Friday sought Reliance Industries (RIL) response to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report which had adversely commented on its operations of gas blocks in the KG basin. Giving six weeks time to the RIL to file its reply, a bench of Justice T.S.Thakur, Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Kurian Joseph allowed the former communist law maker Gurudas Dasgupta to file his responses to New Domestic tural Gas Pricing Guidelines, 2014.
The court directed the further listing of the matter on March 20.
Under the new domestic gas pricing guidelines, the price of the gas has been fixed at $5.61 MMBTU up from earlier price of $4.2 MMBTU. The new price become effective from November 1, 2014.
While senior counsel Harish Salve appearing for the RIL urged the court to hear the matter, Prashant Bhushan appearing for NGO Common Cause sought the advancing the next date of hearing saying that every day they squat on the oil, the country was losing a huge amount. The CAG in its report recommended disallowing $357.16 million expenditure that RIL had incurred on drilling the wells and payments to contractors in KG–D6. The CAG in its report had also hauled up the oil ministry for the delays in fixing hydrocarbon prices and following inconsistent parameters for expenditure estimation.
The court is hearing challenge to the earlier UPA–II government decision to double the price of gas being produced domestically alleging that it was aimed to benefit RIL.
Dasgupta and Common Cause had moved the court challenging the decision to double the gas prices from $ 4.2 mmbtu to $ 8.4 mmbtu alleging that it was to give windfall gain to Reliance Industries which was engaged in gas exploration and production in KG basin. (IANS)