Oil Minister Murli Deora, who faced flak for intervening in the gas dispute between the Ambani brothers, on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court verdict saying the government stand that gas belongs to the nation has been vindicated.
Immediately after the Supreme Court upheld the government's right to fix price of gas and decide its utilisation, Deora said: "SC verdict upholds the fact that gas belongs to the government and the people of the country and that is what we have been saying."
The court said that the Ambani family MoU seeking to divide gas between Reliance Industries and Reliance Natural Resources Ltd was not binding, both legally and technically.
"I welcome the verdict. No matter what campaign one ran against the government, the nation is supreme," he said without naming Anil Ambani group which had cast aspersions on his ministry for allegedly siding with Mukesh-led RIL.
In the midst of the court battle, the government had also moved the Supreme Court asserting its sovereign right on pricing and utilisation, even as RIL said that it had fixed the gas price at $4.20 per mmBtu as per the government policy.
The government's intervention in the case had made Deora the target of Opposition parties' attack both inside and outside Parliament.
Anil Ambani group had carried front page advertisements in newspapers, accusing Deora's ministry of trying to bailout RIL from its obligation under the Ambani family MoU to supply 28 mmscmd of gas to RNRL at a price of $2.34 per mmBtu.