Contrary to earlier speculation, the law ministry has advised the government not to file a defamation suit against the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) for its sustained advertisement campaign, asking searching questions and exposing “false claims” pertaining to the government’s share of revenues from the gas fields of Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL).
“We do not want to complicate the matter further,” said a senior law ministry official said.
ADAG had claimed the government share from KG-D6 gas fields owned by RIL would be just Rs 500 crore, while RIL would earn a colossal profit of Rs 49,500 crore. Despite the government clarifying that its revenues from KG-D6 over the life of the field would be more than Rs 84,000 crore, ADAG stuck to its position.
Why this change of stance? Government counsel Mohan Parasaran refused to elaborate.
“The said advertisements (by ADAG) contain allegations which are grossly defamatory of our clients (RIL),” an August 24 letter by RIL’s lawyers to the editors of newspapers that carried the ADAG advertisements said.