Thursday, August 20, 2009

RIL's mounting legal fees

The legal cost of RIL's battles are now turning into a sizeable number. Amounting to the size of a small company, even. Court battles are the norm at RIL these days - it is embroiled in a mega battle with RNRL in the Supreme Court, another is pending in the Bombay High Court with NTPC - and all this is taking its toll. While RNRL, the fuel linkage firm created by RIL to handle the gas supply to the Dadri plant in UP has seen its legal and professional fess jump from Rs 3.12 crore in 2006-07 to Rs 15.27 crore in 2007-08, it is RIL's numbers that are shocking.

Professional including legal fees had spiked from Rs 259.33 crore in 2005-06 to an astounding Rs 675.84 crore in 2007-08. Litigation doesn't come cheap and as Ram jethmalani remarked the other day on a TV channel, the only people who profit are lawyers. Which means that Harish Salve and company are making mega bucks thanks to the litigation against RNRL. No wonder Salve is seen sitting smugly in his new Bentley, driving around Delhi. Professional fees now amounts to 3.5 percent of its total net profit for 2007-08.

Spare a thought for shareholders who have been clamouring for a bonus for the last so many years.

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