RIL-RNRL case: HC suggests Ambani bros talk it out
The Bombay High Court today suggested that the warring brothers go back to their mother Kokilben and settle the dispute over gas supply from Krishna-Godavari basin.business Updated: Aug 21, 2008 22:09 IST
Saying that dispute between Mukesh Ambani-led RIL and Anil Ambani-led RNRL over gas supply from Krishna-Godavari basin might "affect the economy", the Bombay High Court today suggested that the warring brothers go back to their mother Kokilben and settle the dispute.
"Why can't the two brothers go back to the mother and discuss?" said Justice J N Patel. While Anil's lawyer welcomed the idea, RIL lawyers said they will get instructions from Mukesh's side.
A division bench of Justices J N Patel and K K Tated is hearing case between RIL and RNRL over Gas Supply Master Agreement (GSMA) pertaining to supply of natural gas from RIL's Krishna Godavari reserves to RNRL's power plants.
Earlier, a single judge of High Court has asked the parties to renegotiate the disputed GSMA but it did not work out.
However, Justice Patel today said "no amount of litigation would put an end to the dispute" and suggested that perhaps both the brothers can sit together with their mother and find a solution.
"If these two big industries keep fighting, it may affect the economy," the judge said.
RNRL's lawyer Mukesh Rohatgi said "he (Anil) is ready to meet Mukesh anytime, any place."
RIL lawyer Milind Sathe said he would seek instructions but said that despite the earlier judge's direction to sit together and renegotiate GSMA, it did not happen. "That was the end of the matter".
GSMA was drafted following demerger of RIL following which whereby Anil Ambani got control of Reliance Natural Resources Ltd.
RNRL is not happy with the present GSMA on the ground that it does not give guarantee of duration, quantity of supply as well as the p Rohatgi said if RIL starts supplying gas before RNRL's gas plants come up, RNRL will sell the gas to consumers on the same terms as RIL and as per the government policy.
RIL is saying that it wasn't obliged to supply gas untill RNRL's power plants come up, which will take three years.
Rohatgi said RNRL's plants would come up in three years, if it gets a 'bankable agreement' of supply from RIL. Once the plants come up, RNRL will use gas only for power generation, he said.
Central government lawyer T S Doabia created a flutter when he interrupted to say that if another company was to get gas for trading from RIL, it will need government's approval.
RNRL lawyers took strong objection to this.
Earlier, senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani argued that GSMA between RIL and RNRL was signed before Anil Ambani could get control of the latter's company. "Mukesh Ambani committed criminal breach of trust," charged Jethmalani, adding the GSMA, which favoured RIL, should be set aside.
The GSMA was signed on January 12, 2006, while control of RNRL passed to Anil's group in February, Jethmalani said.