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NTPC suit valid, Govt tells SC

business Updated: Nov 19, 2009 22:16 IST
HT Correspondent

Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium on Thursday clarified to the Supreme Court that its stand before the court has not “jettisoned the interest of the NTPC that is contesting with the Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) before Bombay High Court over the pricing of gas.

NTPC has filed a suit before the HC seeking supply of gas at $2.34 per unit.

“The NTPC suit in the Bombay High Court seeking supply of gas at $2.34 per unit should not be prejudiced in any manner,” Subramanium said.

He said the contract between RIL and NTPC was subsequent to an international competitive bidding.

RIL senior counsel Harish Salve said if NTPC proves that it has a concluded contract for the gas supply, his client would supply gas at whatever price.

Thursday also saw the beginning of RNRL’s arguments. The company gave its consent to include government as a party before the court, but without giving up its right to cross-examine the ministry.

RNRL accused RIL of influencing the oil ministry in hiking the price of gas to $4.2 per unit. “NTPC floated an international tender (for supply of gas to it) and because RIL bid at $2.34 per unit, it won the contract. And then it persuaded some corrupt secretary in the ministry to raise the price,” said RNRL counsel Ram Jethmalani.

“This makes nonsense of the whole bidding process,” he said.