SC wants government and Reliance Industries to give their stands on gas pricing case

Supreme Court on September 14, 2015 asked Reliance Industries and the government to give their stand on whether it would be appropriate for SC to pass an order for appointing arbitrator when two of its PILs are already pending before another bench in apex court.

The argument need to be heard from both sides as demanded by Justice Ranjan Gogoi. It will help the bench to come to the conclusion whether it should appoint an arbitrator on quarrel between Reliance Industries Limited and the government regarding the gas prices; especially when the case of similar kinds are already pending before three-judge bench of the apex court. Now the court will hear the matter on coming Monday.

Public Interest Litigations are filed by CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta and an NGO, Common Cause. Production sharing contract containing arbitration clause and pricing guidelines of January & October 2014 has been challenged under these PILs. The PILs are accusing the government and its gas pricing policy along with the formula developed by the government last year, which is being called beneficial for RIL. It is being said because government is accused of favoring the doubled gas prices extorted from KG-DG basin fields.

Reliance has also asked for arbitration in previous times. One of them is- when gas flow tapered, the government disallowed about $1 billion in costs. RIL also sought arbitration over deferred gas pricing last year.

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