A man has moved the Supreme Court claiming bounty from the Centre for having helped one of its ministries recover excise duty to the tune of Rs 990 crore from Cairn Energy Pvt Ltd and ONGC, who together allegedly manufactured ‘commingled crude oil’ and sold it in the market without paying excise duty on the product.
Nashik-based Kishor stated in his petition he was entitled to 20% of Rs 990 crore as reward under a scheme introduced by the ministry of petroleum and natural gas in 2001. He gave his complaint to the ministry in 2006, while the duty was finally collected in 2011.
Kishor has moved the apex court challenging a Bombay High Court judgment that denied him the reward on the ground that he could not claim it as a matter of right.
A bench of Justice AR Dave and Justice Vikramjit Sen have issued notice to the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, ministry of revenue and finance and director general of central excise, intelligence wing for their response to Kishor’s plea.
The court is keen to ascertain whether the department had recovered the amount subsequent to Kishor’s complaint against the joint venture for evading excise duty.
According to Kishor’s lawyer, Manoj Saxena, his client wrote to the ministry in December, 2006 and got a response in May, 2007 confirming the central excise intelligence had initiated investigation into the matter.
When he asked for the award, the ministry said it would be decided on completion of the probe. Kishor moved court when there was no further response.
Before the high court, the ministry had said the probe was conducted on a letter from a member of Parliament.
Kishor, however, claimed that the MP had forwarded his complaint for action.