Gas pricing: Delhi anti-graft agency says probe against Reliance valid

The matter pertains to an approval by the Cabinet of the previous UPA government in January to double the price of gas extracted by Reliance from $4.2 per unit.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau of the Delhi government has filed an affidavit in the Delhi High Court saying it has jurisdiction to lodge a report against Reliance Industries and former Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily, among others, in the gas pricing issue.

The matter pertains to an approval by the Cabinet of the previous United Progressive Alliance government in January to double the price of gas extracted by Reliance from $4.2 per unit.

The decision was based on a formula suggested by a committee headed by C. Rangarajan, then chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council.

But before the decision could be notified, the Election Commission asked the central government to defer announcing new price for gas produced by companies such as Reliance till elections were over.

Delhi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau said in its affidavit that since it had sought to state that the alleged offence was committed in the capital, it had valid jurisdiction to probe the case.

It had moved the Delhi High Court seeking a dismissal of the plea filed by Reliance that had asked to quash a report against itself, filed by the bureau.

The Centre and the company had both moved the court, seeking a restraining order on the bureau from probing a decision taken on the fixation of price for Reliance gas.

The anti-graft agency said it was a misconceived plea of the firm that gas falls under the Union List of the Constitution and that a state probe machinery cannot deal with such cases.

The jurisdiction has to be judged on the basis of where the alleged act has taken place, said the affidavit filed by Kailash Chandra, secretary-cum-director of the State’s vigilance department.

The bureau also quoted a Supreme Court order that is said to have concluded that the registration of a report was mandatory under the criminal code if it pertained to a disclosure of alleged cognisable offence.

Earlier, the federal government and Reliance had contended that the anti-graft branch had no jurisdiction to investigate the subject as the constitution afforded it no such powers.

The probe was originally ordered by the Arvind Kejriwal government of the Aam Aadmi Party. The charges named Mr. Moily, Reliance chief Mukesh Ambani, former Oil Minister Murli Deora and former oil regulator V.K. Sibal as co-conspirators.

Ordering the probe, Mr. Kejriwal had argued that since the decision on gas pricing, which he alleged was to unduly benefit Reliance, was taken in the capital, his government had the authority to order a probe. more  

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On Sun, Aug 10, 2014 at 10:08 AM, Vinita Agrawal <
support@localcirclesmail.com> wrote:

> more  
The whole scheme of things need to be comprehensively reviewed. As per the facts, Reliance entered into the agreement with Govt. Of India for exploration of gas on terms & conditions acceptable to it. Reliance accepted the terms and agreed to supply gas at a rate of 2.4 dollars and also committed a minimum level of gas production. Reliance failed to meet its obligations under the contract which should/ could have resulted in penalties including cancellation of the contract. Surprising that Govt instead of imposing penalties, agreed to pay @ increased rate of gas by as much as almost 100%.
Reliance still failed to meet its obligations and prevailed upon the Govt to further increase the rates by another 100%. This is nothing but theft of the tax payers money. Naturally people will suspect foul play. All need to fight this deals that smacks of huge corruption. Reliance should be forced to pay penalties for short extraction and denied any further increase in rates.
Similar issues are being perceived in power distribution sector too. Clearly all is not above board in these deals. Unfortunately, neither Congress nor BJP seem to be willing to take reliance on in these deals.it is absolutely essential therefore, that all citizens join hands in thwarting such corrupt deals. AAP is the only party that has taken the initiative in fighting this malaise that our nation is been afflicted with. Since each one of us is impacted directly, it should be fought by all together, whether one supports AAP electorally or not. more  
All the data is available with RIL, as it is their internal matter. If the extent of price rise is based purely on increasing operation cost, only RIL have the data to clinch this issue. Since they have kept this data under raps creates a strong presumption against them that they have been unduly favoured, and the extent of price escalation may not be justified. more  
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