Two judges quit Reliance cases, cite conflict of interest | business | Hindustan Times
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Two judges quit Reliance cases, cite conflict of interest

business Updated: Nov 05, 2009 08:42 IST
Satya Prakash
Satya Prakash
Hindustan Times
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Two Supreme Court judges on Wednesday withdrew from two separate cases related to the Ambani brothers citing conflict of interest.
Conflict of interest

Justice R.V. Raveendran withdrew — recused, in legal jargon — from the bench hearing the Ambani brothers’ gas dispute saying his daughter works for a law firm that advises Mukesh Ambani’s group.

The second judge, Justice Markandey Katju, was hearing a dispute between Mukesh Ambani’s RIL and state-owned Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd over pricing of naphtha, a petroleum product. Justice Katju withdrew citing shares held in RIL by his wife.

Both cases will be heard afresh now.

While recusing himself, Raveendran said, “I came to know only yesterday that my daughter is associated with a solicitors firm (AZB, Bangalore) which is advising the Mukesh Ambani group.”

Right at the start of the daily hearings on October 20, Justice Raveendran had offered to withdraw saying he owned shares in both Mukesh Ambani’s RIL and Anil Ambani’s companies.

But both parties had asked him to carry on. They still wanted him to continue, but Justice Raveendran was adamant.

Chief justice K.G. Balakrish-nan, who heads the bench hearing the gas dispute, named Justice B. Sudarshan Reddy as Justice Raveendran’s replacement. Justice P. Sathasivam, the third judge, continues.

The Ambani brothers are locked in a dispute over the price at which natural gas drilled from Mukesh Ambani’s Krishna-Godavari basin should be sold to Anil Ambani’s Reliance Natural Resources Ltd.