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HindustanTimes Sat,27 Dec 2014

Gas scam: Govt acted on complaints by four activists

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 12, 2014
First Published: 00:57 IST(12/2/2014) | Last Updated: 01:00 IST(12/2/2014)

Despite the two pending cases in the alleged Reliance gas price hike scam in the Supreme Court, four activist-citizens approached the Delhi government with a detailed complaint.

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One of the four complainants is a petitioner in one of the cases in the Supreme Court. “Substantially, the facts in the Supreme Court case and the complaint are the same. But the relief sought in the SC is quashing of the wrong government policy and in case of the anti-corruption branch (ACB) case, based on the company’s admission in one of its documents, the gas price could not jump six times over,” TSR Subramaniam, former cabinet secretary, one of the complainants, told HT.

He along with Admiral RH Tahiliani, former Naval chief, EAS Sarma, former secretary to the government of India and Kamini Jaiswal, a Supreme Court lawyer - had on Friday approached the Delhi government against the country’s premier industrial house and two top politicians among others in connection with the Reliance Industries Limited gas scam.

It prompted the Delhi government to order its anti-corruption branch to file an FIR in connection with the alleged price hike of natural gas by RIL.

Asserting that the rate that RIL was charging was far too high, Tahiliani - who is also the former chairperson of Transparency International - India, said, “This (complaint to the ACB) was necessary to strengthen the case in the court.”

“Natural gas is the primary input for 100 crore people of India directly affecting their lives - be it through transport, domestic gas and electricity. In this case, when the Indian rupee is steadily depreciating, gas’ production, expenditure, consumption and payments, all are made in India, there is a clear case of private benefit,” Subramaniam said.

There is nothing wrong if businesses makes profit, in fact, investment is good for India, he said adding, “But windfall profit through alleged or personal collusion is improper and not acceptable.”   

Subramaniam is also a member of Common Cause, which has filed one of the cases in the Supreme Court while CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta has filed the other.


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