The waters are getting muddier and muddier for Reliance Industries. In the run up to the SC hearings on the Ambani gas opera beginning from October 20 on Monday, Anil Ambani group firm RNRL fired a fresh salvo seeking to intervene in the NTPC-RIL gas dispute in the Supreme Court (SC), saying the issues raised by the power PSU directly affected its own case against the Mukesh Ambani-led firm. In an intervention application filed with the apex court, RNRL said that RIL's argument, placed by way of an amendment to its written statements in NTPC suit, is an issue in the SLP (special leave petition) filed by RIL in the Supreme Court in the RIL-RNRL matter.
"It is submitted that the issues that arise in the case filed by NTPC in the Supreme Court directly affect its (RNRL's) case against Reliance Industries," RNRL said, adding it was therefore necessary that it was permitted to be impleaded as a party in the NTPC-RIL case. It is clear that RNRL is now using the NTPC intervention as a rump to further its own case. It needs to be mentioned that the basic premise of RNRL's $2.34 per million unit for 17 years is NTPC's gas supply contract with RIL for a similar price and tenure. The same has been validated by the Bombay High Court in its judgment of June 15.
NTPC moved the Supreme Court on September 5, challenging a Bombay High Court decision that allowed RIL to amend its petition on the gas dispute citing the government's pricing policy. A Division Bench of the High Court had allowed amendment in the petition wherein RIL had prayed that the government's gas pricing policy would frustrate its contract with NTPC.
NTPC had moved the Bombay High Court seeking 12 million units of gas from RIL, which had emerged winner in a global competitive bid quoting a price of $2.34 per million unit. RIl has challenged the Bombay High Court verdict in favour of RNRL in the SC.