Sucheta Dalal :Not privy to final special leave petition in Ambani case: Parasaran
Sucheta Dalal

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Not privy to final special leave petition in Ambani case: Parasaran  

July 27, 2009


Additional solicitor general (ASG) Mohan Parasaran said he was left out of the details of a special leave petition (SLP) filed by the petroleum ministry in the Supreme Court (SC), seeking annulment of a family MoU between the group companies of the Ambani brothers over gas supply, reports PTI.
"I found that broadly the SLP was acceptable, but was of the view that we should confine ourselves to the grievances as an aggrieved party arising out of the judgement of the Bombay High Court,” said Parasaran.
"Even the challenge to the MoU could only be in case of the gas sale agreement and not in other matters... the SLP in its final shape was not seen by me," he said in a communication to the law ministry, presumably as a response to queries generated on the contents of the petition.
When contacted, Parasaran declined to comment on the communication. It may be recalled that on 15th July, Anil had written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, alleging that the petroleum ministry was playing a partisan role and was siding Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) which is owned by his elder brother Mukesh.
The Prime Minister's Office had subsequently forwarded the letter to the oil ministry for annotations. The same was also believed to have been forwarded to the law ministry.
Parasaran, however clarified in the communication that as ASG, he was not expected to supervise filing of cases nor give any instructions on behalf of the government to file cases or pleadings before the SC.
The Bombay High Court on 15th June had ordered RIL to supply gas to RNRL at $2.34 per mmBtu for a 17-year period. The court also asked the two sides to work out a suitable agreement within a month. However, the belligerent brothers moved the SC with cross-appeals.
The government which was sought to be made an intervener by RIL was the first to file an affidavit on 17th July. But the very next day, it moved a special leave petition, seeking to declare the MOU’s of the Ambani brothers null and void, while asserting its ownership on the natural resource.
It argued that the HC ruling undermines the government's gas utilisation policy and the provisions of the production sharing contract (PSC) and wanted the order to be stayed. Parasaran said it was in the light of the HC ruling that he had advised the ministry, as an aggrieved party to file the SLP to challenge the judgement.

-- Sucheta Dalal