Reliance ‘acquitted’ of ‘gas theft’ charge, Delhi High Court dismisses government’s plea


Reliance 'acquitted' of 'gas theft' charge, Delhi High Court dismisses government's plea

In the petition, Reliance was accused of ‘stealing gas’ from ONGC’s well. Image Credit source: File Photo

The government has got a big blow today from the Delhi High Court. The government had filed a petition against Reliance Industries and its partners, which was dismissed by the High Court. This case is related to gas theft worth $ 1.73 billion (about Rs 14,200 crore).

In fact, the government had alleged in its petition that Reliance Industries, along with its partner companies, had ‘stolen’ gas from ONGC’s well in the KG basin. Reliance Industries also works together with Britain’s BP and Canada’s Niko Resources to extract gas in this area.

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Singapore arbitration award upheld

Justice Anoop Jairam Bambani, while hearing the case, upheld the Singapore International Arbitration’s decision of 24 July 2018. The International Arbitration Court of Singapore had ruled in favor of the company group led by Reliance Industries in this regard.

In its petition, the government challenged the decision of the arbitration court itself. The government had alleged that this decision is an attack on public policy. Also, this contractor Reliance also pays a premium for earning a good amount of money despite committing ‘fraud’ and criminal acts.

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The government said that the amount of gas extracted by Reliance Industries and its partner companies till the time of filing the petition was worth $ 1.73 billion. Despite this, the company’s production from the migrated gas well is still going on.

What is this gas theft case of Reliance?

In the year 2014, the government company ONGC had moved the Delhi High Court. In its petition, the company had said that Reliance Industries has produced gas from its gas block. This gas block of ONGC shares border with Godavari PML and KG-DWN-98/2 gas block of Reliance.

In this case, the Singapore arbitration court ruled that the production sharing contract gives Reliance full permission to extract gas from gas wells located in its assigned area. What is the source of gas in it, it does not matter. That’s why Reliance is not bound to give any kind of money to the government.

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